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Glazed Fig and Orange Loaf Cake

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There are so many reasons to postpone a catch-up with an old friend, but never let loadshedding or cooking time be one of them. My suggestion is to always have a loaf cake tucked away in the freezer that you can take out a couple of hours before the time (it defrosts very quickly) and give it a glamorous makeover the next morning. By the time you serve this classic tea-time treat, the flavours would have socialised and gotten very well acquainted, leaving you with an impressive centrepiece that was almost too easy to put together.

Glazed Fig and Orange Loaf Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hour | Makes: 2 loaf cakes

INGREDIENTS

for the cake batter

300 g (375 ml) cake flour

3,75 ml bicarbonate soda

2,5 ml salt

4 eggs

300 g (375 ml) sugar

125 ml sunflower oil

113 g (125 ml) butter, melted

310 ml orange juice

30 ml orange zest

for the glaze

250 g (500 ml) icing sugar, sifted

50 ml water, boiled

5 ml lemon zest

10 ml lemon juice

for the garnish

6 fresh figs

10 dried orange slices

5 ml orange zest

for the syrup

200 g (250 ml) sugar

250 ml orange juice

10 ml orange zest

1 star anise (whole)

METHOD

for the cake batter

Preheat oven to 180 ℃

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale yellow in colour and double in volume on a high speed in a standup mixer. Lower the speed on the mixer and slowly pour in the oil followed by the melted butter, make sure it is all well combined. Mix in orange juice and zest, ensuring not to over mix. Sieve in the dry ingredients and gently fold in, pour into two prepared bread tins (23 x 13 x 8cm), and bake for 40 minutes.

for the syrup

Place all the ingredients into a medium saucepan and allow to gently simmer for 15 minutes over low heat, until the liquid has reduced by half into a thin syrup consistency.

for the glaze

In a medium mixing bowl sift the icing sugar, and whisk in the boiling water, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour over the cake before finishing with the garnishes. The glaze can be made in advance and kept in the fridge, just whisk the mixture, and add a small amount of water to thin down again if needed.

for the garnish

Garnish the cake with dried orange or naartjie slices, fresh figs, and finely grated orange zest.

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