Let's be completely honest here, shall we?
This is not a looker of a cake.
If it were a she, and she were walking down the street, no-one would wolf-whistle.
I doubt she'd really even get a second look.
She's not a glamazon, sugar-bomb, over-the-top confectionary flight-of-fancy.
But don't discount her for that, because it's a feature, not a flaw.
She's an honest, approachable kind of cake. Suitable for all occasions, not just super-fancy frosting-laden affairs. Not that she can't handle a super-fancy, frosting-laden affair, mind you.
She's just understated, that's all.
If she were your friend, she'd be the one you call first with good news, and bad. The one who volunteers to drive you to the airport at 4 am. The one who makes you laugh so hard you can't breathe.
She's just a really good cake, she is. So don't hold her lack of exotic looks against her, because she makes up for it with character. Lots of orange marmaladey character.
For those of us who make jam, we're always on the quest for recipes to use that jam. And jelly. And preserves. And marmalade. Because, you see, our goal in life is to make more jam. And in order to make more jam, we need to use the current jam up, to make more space, free up more jars. So we can make more jam.
It's a vicious, never-ending circle of obsessive-compulsive preserving.
I am sure there's a self-help group out there somewhere. But I can stop any time. Really, I can.
This cake is a holy grail of using the preserves - three-quarters of a cup of marmalade in it, more on it. That's a whole jar gone. Plus you get a really great cake out of it.
So, bust this baby out for an afternoon snack. She's great with tea or coffee. After dinner, as a not overly sweet nibble. Breakfast, even. I mean, it's got orange marmalade in it, and that uses oranges, and so does orange juice, and orange juice is for breakfast, so there you go. Am I right or am I right?
350 g self-rising flour
150 g butter, plus more for greasing the tin
150 g sugar
generous 3/4 cup orange marmalade*
1/4 cup milk
hearty pinch of salt
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
You will need a 6 inch diameter, 3 inch high cake tin or springform pan, and a scale.
* If the marmalade has coarse shreds, pop it in a food processor and give it a whiz, or chop by hand.
Note: I measured dry ingredients by weight, which I find faster and more accurate. There are internet sites that offer conversions based on ingredient, but I find them infuriatingly inconsistent. That truly irks the scientist in me. If you have the option, go for the scale. I can't guarantee success with a dodgy conversion.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease the tin (or use cooking spray).
Rub the butter into the flour and salt until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is incorporated, then add the sugar and mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and marmalade until combined, then stir in the milk. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. This will make a robust, spoonable batter.
Scrape into the cake tin, smooth the top, and bake in the oven for 75 minutes until the top is browned and a cake tester comes out with only a few crumbs.
Leave to cool on a wire tray, and when ready to serve, dust the top with powdered sugar and eat with a generous slather of marmalade.
Keeps well for several days in an airtight container. Can be frozen for longer storage.