Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
250 g (9oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225 g (8oz) caster sugar
juice and finely grated zest of 1/2 large or 1 small orange
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds (from about 12–14 pods) or 1 tsp ready- ground cardamom
225 ml (8fl oz) natural yoghurt
350 g (12oz) plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
75 g (3oz) fresh raspberries, to decorate
for the icing
225 g (8oz) icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp ready-ground cardamom or the ground seeds of 5 cardamom pods
25–30ml (1–11/4 fl oz) natural yoghurt
2.5 l (41/3 pint) bundt tin
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4), and butter the bundt tin. If you’re using a standard type of cake tin, butter the sides and line the base with a disc of baking parchment. Cream the butter until soft in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Next, beat in the orange juice and zest and the ground cardamom. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, then mix in the yoghurt. Next sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, folding in just until combined.
Tip the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula or palette knife. Bake the cake for 50–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for just 5 minutes, then, if using a bundt tin, place a wire rack on the top and invert the cake so it is upside down, then remove the tin, turn upright again and leave to cool on the wire rack.
As the cake cools, make the icing. Beat together the icing sugar, cardamom and 25ml (1fl oz) of the yoghurt, adding a tiny bit more yoghurt if the mixture seems too stiff. (It should be a thick drizzling consistency: too thin and the icing will slide off the cake – too thick and you won’t be able to drizzle it.)
Place the cake on a cake stand or serving plate, then drizzle the icing backwards and forwards from the centre to the outside of the cake in a zigzag pattern (or in zigzags across the top if it’s been made in a standard tin). Decorate with the raspberries immediately while the icing is still wet so they stick to the icing.