Some tastes you grow into. When you’re little, you want sweet, plain and simple. With toast you want jam. Specifically, you want strawberry – something straight-forward and sugary: reasonable, red, familiar. Then you graduate to something a little more sophisticated, a gateway fruit, maybe a raspberry. You come to like that slight sharpness with the sweet, and from there you start contemplating that most grown-up of grown-up spreads: marmalade. You never would have entertained the idea of chunks of tart chopped-up orange on your toast some years ago, but now, that citrussy sour-sweet is somehow what you crave each morning. How did that happen?
Though strictly speaking, cake is not for breakfast, this particular one is actually kind of perfect as the first meal of the day - soft and golden as the sunrise, its bittersweet bite as good a wake up as a cup of coffee.
Come to think of it, cake for breakfast is kind of a childhood fantasy, so maybe you aren’t as grown-up as you thought after all. Phew.
Adapted from a recipe by Melissa Clark, from The New York Times
I am incapable of allowing a citrus fruit into my kitchen without zesting it. If it’s not for use immediately, I deposit it into one of a variety of ziplock bags currently residing in my freezer, labelled for their fruit: lime, orange, grapefruit, lemon… This means I have zest on hand when I need it (no need to defrost ahead of time, just use straight from the freezer), allowing me to make this recipe without a trip to the shops for fruit, or having to figure out what to do with a half-zested orange after making it.
215 grams coarse-cut orange marmalade (2/3 cup), divided
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1/2 tablespoon for glaze, and more for greasing pan
150 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
190 grams all-purpose flour (1 1/2 cups)
7 grams baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3 grams fine sea salt (3/4 teaspoon)
30 grams icing (confectioners') sugar (4 tablespoons)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coarsely chop any extra-large chunks of peel in the marmalade. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together softened butter, sugar, lime zest and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in 1/3 cup marmalade and the orange juice.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined.
Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until surface of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre emerges clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack. Cool 10 minutes; turn cake out of pan and place on rack right-side up. Place a rimmed baking sheet under rack to catch the glaze.
Heat remaining 1/3 cup marmalade in a small pot over low heat until melted; whisk in icing sugar and 1/2 tablespoon butter until smooth. Slather warm glaze over top of cake, allowing some to drizzle down the sides. Cool completely before slicing.