It’s been a long time since I last posted any sweet recipes on this site (it was an apple cake back in October!). I’ve still been baking, but I simply haven’t made anything that I’ve felt was different enough to warrant blogging about it. Of course, it should come as no surprise that the first should include one of my favourite flavours: yuzu.
Since yuzu juice (and the harder-to-come-by powder) are quite expensive, I tend to avoid using them in the liberal quantities that baking would require. Instead, I’ve made use of Korean yuzu tea, a marmalade-like preserve that is mixed with hot water as a sweet drink — like in my yuzu roly-poly. This tea is too concentrated and bitter on its own to use as a cake filling but I wasn’t sure how better to combine it into a cake. However, I then stumbled upon a recipe in the Great British Bake Off’s 2011 book How to Bake by Linda Collister, that used bittersweet Seville orange marmalade and decided this would be perfect to try with yuzu.
After a little adaptation of the recipe (my cake tin was slightly larger, so the thinner cake needed less time in the oven) to substitute the yuzu tea, I was really pleased with the end product. Previously I’ve used a lemon or lime sponge and iced it with a yuzu topping, but this recipe, incorporating the flavour into the cake batter as well, gave a much stronger and intense result. The yuzu took a starring role, rather than sharing the stage with other citruses.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base of an 20-21cm/8-inch spring-clip cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease the sides with butter.
Beat together all the cake ingredients, except the yuzu tea and milk, using an electric beater (or beat the ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon, adding them to the mixing bowl one at a time i.e. first butter and sugar, then the eggs, the flour and so on) until fully combined. Remove any seeds from the yuzu tea and mix into the batter by hand, using a splash of milk to loosen it — you’ll probably need no more than 50ml — to dropping consistency.
Spoon the mixture in the prepared cake tin at an even thickness, and bake for 35-45 minutes until a dark golden colour and cocktail stick or wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. Warm the remaining 3 tbsp of yuzu tea until it has thinned in consistency, pick out any seeds, and spread evenly over the cake. Leave to cool completely before icing.
Combine the icing sugar and water in a bowl and mix thoroughly until smooth (or follow these instructions for yuzu icing). Drizzle over the cake, allowing the yuzu peel to poke through in places and leave to set before tucking in.