One of my favourite things to do is to talk on the topic of food with my granny. Learning to cook armed only with cookbooks and a passion for art, with eight hungry mouths to feed and very little money, my granny developed some of the most resourceful cooking skills I know. I love that with barely anything in the house she can produce something incredibly elegant, such as soufflés, without thinking twice. This is a light and rather sophisticated cake that relies heavily on store-cupboard ingredients and is a perfect example of her skill in being able to produce something incredibly impressive out of everyday items.


  • 2 tblsp fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 110g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 110g (4oz) plain flour
  • 140g (5oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g (3½oz) icing sugar
  • 2 tblsp orange juice
  • Grated zest of ½ orange
  • Toasted skinned almonds, to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6 and grease a 20cm (8in) cake tin with a removable base. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl with a whisk until pale and light. Sift the flour into a separate bowl, then make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, mix thoroughly until you have a smooth batter.
  • Gently fold in the egg and sugar mixture, along with the baking powder, until combined. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • When completely cool, transfer to a cake stand. Whisk together the icing sugar, orange juice and zest and drizzle over the cake. Decorate with the toasted almonds and allow to set before serving in generous slices with coffee or tea.