This month, I had the honour of picking the books for “This Book Makes Me Cook”. The unanimous decision was Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I read this book as a teenager and have enjoyed reading it again with my daughter sometime back. Let me also tell you right away that the book inspired me to bake an Orange Marmalade Cake!
On first thought this book takes me back memories of an Alice who keeps growing and shrinking depending on what she ate or drank, a grinning Cheshire cat, the Mad Hatter’s teaparty, knaves painting white roses red, Alice and the Queen playing croquet with flamingoes and hedgehogs and a Queen of Hearts who keeps shouting “Off with their heads”!!
The first chapter of “Alice In Wonderland” starts with Alice getting with sitting down while her sister reads a book without any pictures. She then sees a White Rabbit (with pink eyes) that carries a watch and talks to itself, so she follows the rabbit down a hole.
She finally reaches the bottom of the hole to find………
“………….it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled `ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great disappointment it was empty!”
I, on the other hand, had a jar which was full of Orange Marmalade. So I decided not go any further but see what I could do with marmalade. My husband and our daughter do not like marmalade because “it is bitter and not sweet enough”. I enjoy butter and marmalade on hot toast but there’s only so much marmalade I can eat. So this was the perfect opportunity to try something different.
Some searching on the net and I found quite a few recipes but none of them were exactly what I wanted so took a little from some of them and put together a recipe that worked for me. This Marmalade Cake is a somewhat dense but moist cake but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. It’s the perfect cake to serve with tea or coffee.
Store bought marmalade in India tends to be on the sweeter side so I would suggest using a little more sugar if your marmalade isn’t as sweet. If your cake does turn out a little less sweet, you can always dust it with powdered sugar or cover it with a marmalade glaze or drizzle an orange and powdered sugar glaze over it.