Catherine Bragg is a farmer’s wife on a property near Cootamundra and was inspired by Noelene Reading, who owned a catering company and whose recipes are also included. Recipes cover suggestions for breakfast in a country kitchen, harvest lunches, picnics and camp ovens, and a chapter on relishes and jams. There are also extracts from poems and reflections on country life.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
125 g softened butter
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
grated rind of 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a deep 20 cm round cake tin with baking paper.
Place all the ingredients in a mixer or food processor and beat until well combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack.
To make the icing, melt the butter and add the sugar and orange juice, adding the juice a little at a time until it is the right consistency for spreading. Mix well, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to bring out the citrus flavour. The icing should be of a thin consistency, but not so runny that it will not sit on the cake.
When the cake is cold, ice.
How it played out
I’ve made this cake twice, both times using the food processor. These were my first forays into mixing a cake in the processor.
The first cake collapsed quite a bit in the middle. The second not quite so much because I processed for no more than 30 seconds. Apparently over-mixing can cause a cake to collapse and I reckon that was the problem.
I think I’ll try this again using a hand mixer.
Flavour-wise this cake is sensational even if the middle sinks. The citrus flavour is perfect and you can bet I will make this often. A while back I gave this book to a friend who grew up on a farm in Cootamundra.
If you love fancy cakes, check out the gorgeous wedding cakes we saw in Germany.