Food & Drink Magazine

Orange Wholemeal Victoria Loaf

By Risingtotheberry @rising2theberry

Recipe Number One Hundred & Ninety Three:  Page 314.
This cake sounds remarkably healthy. Not only does it help push us towards one of our five a day, it also has the added goodness of wholemeal flour. The prospect of a wholemeal cake would have horrified me when I was a child. It would have sounded far too nutritious!! What a change twenty odd years can make. I couldn't wait to tuck into something so seemingly wholesome!
Due to this wet and miserable weather, Isaac and I were stuck inside once again. He's really missing his trips to the swings so, to pass the time, we turned on the computer and logged on to Skype! We spent ages chatting to my parents and Isaac planted lots of kisses on the screen! We live some distance apart, so it is great for Isaac to be able to see his “Nanny and Bampy” and stay in touch.
After Isaac had scoffed a mammoth lunch, I grabbed my Baking Bible and laid it out on the kitchen worktop. Isaac observed from the living room. I think he was too full to run around, which made a change!! As I scanned through the list of instructions I was delighted by the simplicity of the recipe. Another of Mary's wonderful ‘all-in-ones’!
The butter had been sitting on the worktop softening all morning. I know I shouldn't become smug, but I'm getting so much better at remembering to soften butter. It's only taken me about 190 recipes to get there!!! Neil had kindly bought me some Kilner jars to store all my different types of sugar, nuts and dried fruits. He is desperately trying to bring some order to the chaotic kitchen! I confidently strode over to the cupboard to pluck the jar of light muscovado sugar from the shelf. A sense of unease spread though me as, although I easily located various jars of sugar, the only one not in evidence was light muscovado. Uh oh! I spent some time checking the shelves, starting at the top and working my way down. I pulled packets and jars forward to peer behind. Of course, some while later, I found the sugar on the bottom shelf, tucked behind a jar of pasta sauce and a tin of chickpeas! Hooray – I was so pleased that I felt tempted to tap out a jig. However, I sensibly thought better of it and went to weigh the sugar instead!
I wished that this recipe had called for more eggs. The milkman delivers half a dozen every Friday and I am running out of places to store them! I went to open a box only to discover that I'd been sent medium instead of large. Tsk, tsk! As I had several boxes to choose between it wasn't a problem. I'll have to make a gigantic omelet to use up the smaller ones! I cracked two eggs into the mixing bowl and then turned my attention to the flour. I required the same quantity of wholemeal and self-raising white flour. As with all the other ingredients, the amounts seemed so small. I wasn't sure how the mixture would ever fill a 2lb loaf tin and I wondered if perhaps a 1lb tin would be more suitable! The last ingredient to be included was the all important orange. Only the zest was required. Neil often eats an orange in the evening (I know, very rock and roll) and I felt sure that he wouldn't mind peeling a bold orange so it wouldn't be wasted.
All that was left was to give the mixture a good old beating with my electric whisk. Mary says to beat for two minutes or until smooth and well blended. It really did take about two minutes to combine. To begin with it was quite lumpy and stiff. However, the mixture lightened considerably in color and was much looser after the time was up. Reassuringly Mary mentions that we shouldn't expect the mixture to fill the tin. This was such a relief, as it didn't look as though there was anywhere near enough! I spread it out as best I could and placed it into the warm oven.
I was a bit taken aback when I picked Isaac up to take him to bed. As I lifted him into my arms he suddenly exclaimed - “Juicy”. I wasn't really sure how to take that! Thankfully things were made clear when he carried on to say “Juicy...... orange” He must have caught a whiff of the zested orange!
I left the cake to cook for the suggested forty minutes. When I returned to the oven I was pleased to find that it had risen and was cooked through. I tipped it straight out onto a wire rack to cool. Although it had doubled in size it was still on the small side. Whilst it cooled I wolfed down my lunch at startling speed. Luckily no one was here to witness such an unattractive sight!
I went back to the kitchen to make the icing. Again the quantities of ingredients were on the modest side. I beat together some butter, icing sugar and a tablespoonful of marmalade. As the total amount was so small I didn't bother with the electric whisk and simply used a wooden spoon instead. Once smooth, I piled the icing on top of the cake and smoothed it out with a knife. It didn't look particularly exciting but I was looking forward to sampling a slice all the same!
As soon as I'd finished one slice I found myself reaching for another. Just a slither of course! This cake really ticked all the boxes for me. It was light and beautifully moist. The wholemeal flour worked well with the standard white. I expect if only wholemeal had been used the resulting loaf would have been too heavy. The flavor of orange was subtle but came through more strongly in the icing. Adding marmalade to the icing worked wonders; the flavor was delicious. I feel sure that I will make this simple and tasty cake over and over again. It is one of my favourites from the Baking Bible. It really is a cake that the whole family can enjoy.

Orange Wholemeal Victoria Loaf

Might not look very exciting but I loved it!

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