Preheat oven to 180°C conventional oven (350° Fahrenheit/Gas 4). Grease a 24cm round cake pan by lightly buttering the base and sides with margarine or butter. Line the base with baking paper, then lightly butter over the baking paper. Add a heaped tablespoon of 00 flour, then turn and shake the tin to coat the butter in flour on the base and sides of the cake pan.
Using an electric mixer or hand beater, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. With the mixer (or hand beater) running, add the egg yolks, one at a time. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. You want to see air bubbles rise to the surface of the cake mixture before adding additional tablespoons of flour. Stir in the orange zest and orange juice. Then stir in the margarine (or butter) until well combined. Stir the sifted baking powder and orange essence into the cake mixture.
Note: 00 is a powder-fine Italian type of flour. It is made from soft wheat varieties, and is frequently used in Italian desserts and pastas. 00 flour is available in most supermarkets, Italian food stores and gourmet delicatessens.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Allow the ciambella (cake) to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the orange syrup, combine the water, Orange Liqueur and sugar in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Set aside to cool.
Once completely cooled, slice the whole cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom cake layer onto a serving plate. Brush or spoon half of the orange syrup over the bottom cake layer. Set aside the top half. Use a spatula to spread the whole jar of sweet orange marmalade over the bottom half of the cake. Place the remaining cake on top of the marmalade layer. Brush or spoon the remaining orange syrup on top of the cake. Dust with sifted icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar) on top of the Ciambella all’arancia con marmellata (orange cake with marmalade) before serving – buon appetito.
Vanessa is Creative Director of the Italian Spoon website and Author of The Italian entertaining cookbook, a collection of home-style Italian recipes and tips for entertaining in true Italian-style. In addition to cooking and taking photographs, Vanessa writes the recipes and blogs to bring the love of Italian cooking to life! The collection of recipes and blogs on the website have been inspired by travels to Italy and desire to share what she has learnt from the great ‘Mamma’s and ‘Nonna’s in her life!
Vanessa is an entrepreneur and wife to husband Simone and the mother of two beautiful kids Dante and Mia. Even so she was born and lives in Melbourne Australia, Vanessa has a deep connection to Italy. Perhaps it is the food, or maybe it is because it is the place where Vanessa met the love of her life, Simone to whom she has been happily married for so many years.