I do believe this is the orange-y-est cake you will ever eat. If you like the flavor of orange, this Orange Marmalade Cake will send you into absolute orange bliss. It contains not only orange juice, but orange liqueur, orange zest, orange marmalade and orange syrup. Plus there is a dollop of marmalade on top. It is so rich that I am suggesting the serving size be a minute 2-inch square. If necessary, of course, you can always have a second serving. I froze my leftovers in small squares, wrapped in plastic wrap in a ziplock bag and happily reheated them in the microwave for weeks. I almost felt guilt-free. Lol.
Orange Marmalade Cake with Currants
1 navel orange, washed
½ cup sugar
1 whole star anise
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup water
1. Remove skin and white pith from orange in 1-inch strips.
2. Combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add the orange peel, star anise and vanilla. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until syrup has thickened, 30 to 50 minutes. Remove peel and discard. Place syrup in container, cover and chill.
Make the Cake
1 ¼ sticks butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
¾ cup dried currants
½ cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
1 ½ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons (heaping) orange marmalade
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk or half-and-half
Orange marmalade, about 1 cup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch diameter spring form pan. Line pan with parchment paper round and butter round.
2. Heat Grand Marnier and currants in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat 10 tablespoons butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
5. Beat in orange juice, marmalade and orange zest. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition.
6. Add 1/3 dry ingredients, ½ milk, 1/3 dry ingredients, ½ milk and last of dry ingredients, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in any Grand Marnier not absorbed by currants.
7. Fold in currants and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top.
8. Bake cake 40-45 minutes, until cake is golden and pick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
9. Remove sides of pan from cake. Turn cake over onto serving plate and remove parchment paper. Poke a number of holes in cake top with toothpick and drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons reserved orange syrup over cake.
10. To serve, cut cake into 2-inch square pieces and top with a spoon of orange marmalade. Best served warm.
Note: Can be made 1 day ahead, stored in pan covered with plastic wrap at room temperature. On second day, store covered in fridge. Individual servings without marmalade may be frozen, wrapped in plastic in a freezer zip bag. Reheat unwrapped in microwave.