The Best Cake to Cook in Iso

This Orange Blossom Cake is giving our Creative Director Jennifer Sampson all the delicious feels during lockdown.  

I love this cake by Hetty McKinnon, I have all of her cookbooks and use them weekly.  She is literally the salad queen of my heart. But this Orange Blossom cake is a standout too alongside her bangin' salads and soups. 

If you aren't familiar with Hetty McKinnon she has a fascinating story. She started as a home cook with a love of vegetables and in 2011 established Arthur Street Kitchen. Her concept was just to create local food for local people — Surry Hills, Sydney actually. Which happens to be the same suburb as our Sydney office (yup we relocated from Bondi Beach earlier in 2020).

Hetty went about creating the most delicious salads (the kind you forget that there is no meat in them) and delivered them to locals on her bicycle. Cut to 2015 and Hetty and her family relocated to Brooklyn, New York City where she continued her business of delivering delicious food to a new set of lucky locals. There are a tonne of recipes on Hetty's website too if you want to check them out here.

So for this cake you don't need a whole load of exotic ingredients and this particular time I made it, I had no vanilla bean extract so that isn't pictured. But trust me, it was just as delicious. There is a lot of butter in this cake, but that and the Greek Yoghurt creates a moist and more-ish texture.

If you keep it in the fridge for a few days (if it isn't devoured immediately) it doesn't dry out but stays perfect. You can cut off a slice and let it come to room temp, or zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds too. I've also used unsalted butter instead of salted and the taste isn't altered too dramatically so don't sweat it if you don't have salted butter. Lastly, I LOVE citrus with a capital L so I tend to ramp up the amount of zest, like 2 or 3 oranges!

ORANGE BLOSSOM, YOGHURT AND CARDAMOM CAKE

By Hetty McKinnon

Serves 6-8
250g salted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
3 tablespoons orange juice
250g (1 cup) Greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons orange blossom water
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
330g (11/2 cups) raw granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (or seeds from 8-10 cardamom pods crushed)
2 tablespoons of chopped pistachios, to decorate
ORANGE AND CREAM CHEESE ICING
125g cream cheese, at room temperature
90g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
dash of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of orange juice

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a 22cm springform tin

with baking paper.

Begin by combining the wet ingredients. Whisk together the butter, eggs, vanilla extract, orange zest, orange juice, yoghurt and orange blossom water in a bowl.

Combine the flour, sugar and cardamom and mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and fold until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. leave to cool completely.

Prepare the icing by whisking together the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract and orange juice. Combine well until there are no lumps and the icing is smooth in texture.

Spread the icing over the cooled cake and top with the chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.