I love a good citrus bake. Pies, tarts, bars, they’re all good. And then there are citrus cakes. I think I might even prefer a tangy citrus flavoured cake to a rich chocolate one. This one is so pretty too. Blood oranges are such a lovely ingredient to use whilst they’re in season. They have a wonderful sweetness and the colours of some them are really something. Who needs artificial colourings eh?

Ingredients
topping
1 blood orange
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sugar
150ml water
sponge
75g butter
85g sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
115g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
35g ground almonds
50g plain yoghurt
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 heaped tbsp thyme leaves
zest of one blood orange

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease and line your cake tin.
Thinly slice the orange and add it to a pan with the water, honey and sugar for the topping . Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until the rind starts to soften a little. lift out the fruit and set it aside but reserve the cooking liquor.
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar and salt until they are quite fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, following each with a spoonful of the flour. Sift together the remaining flour and the baking powder and briefly beat this into the batter. Fold through the ground almonds.
Mix together the milk and yoghurt and then use this to loosen the mixture. Finally mix in the orange zest, thyme and poppy seeds.


Arrange the drained orange slices in the bottom of the baking tin. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and level off the top. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes and then leave in the tin to cool.
To finish the cake bring the reserved cooking liquor to boil until it has reduced by half and become quite syrupy. Invert the cake onto a serving plate, remove the tin and peel off the lining paper before pouring on the syrup.