Vodka? In a cake? If you don’t believe us, give this recipe for Sticky Orange, Chilli and Vodka Cake a shot.

Ingredients
170g/6 ozs softened butter
1 cup caster or superfine sugar
1 1/2 oranges
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup almond meal/ground almonds
1/4 cup dessert wine
1/2 cup water
1 lemon
3/4 cup caster or superfine sugar
2-5 small mild dried chillies
2.5 tablespoons vodka

How to
Preheat oven to 170C/340F. Line a 20cm spring-form tin with parchment paper on the base and sides.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Finely grate the rind of one orange into the butter mix and beat lightly, then add the egg yolks, one at a time and then the dessert wine.

Add the flour and almond meal in two batches of each alternating between flour and almond meal.

Whisk the egg whites with a beater until you reach stiff peaks and then fold this into the mixture in two lots – the wet mixture is already quite heavy so you will end up deflating the cake mixture a bit but try and fold it in if you can.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

About 15 minutes before the cake is finished, start on the syrup. In a small saucepan add the water and sugar and the peeled zest from the one and a half oranges and the lemon.

Juice the oranges and lemon and add this to the sugar and water. Add the chilli and vodka and stir until sugar dissolved and then boil rapidly for about 5 minutes until it becomes a thick syrup. Keep the syrup warm and infuse the flavours until the cake is ready.

Remove cake from oven and place bottom side up on a serving plate. Prick all over using a skewer and while hot, spoon over the syrup, peel and chillis. Serve warm – the syrup will have seeped into the cake making it moist and sweet.

Recipe provided by Not Quite Nigella food blog. Licensed under a CC non-commercial license.

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