Today, 8 March, is International Women’s Day (IWD) and this year’s theme focuses on equality with #EachforEqual whereby an equal world is an enabled world. The IWD website explains that, “we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements”. Together, we can work towards creating a gender equal world – not just in the work place, but within sport, in society and also in wealth. To find out more, head to the IWD website.
Here in Italy, IWD is a big celebration, with the Mimosa symbolising this important day. Unfortunately, this year, the main celebrations has had to be cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, however, individual families will still come together, eat and dedicate the day to the women in their lives.
I therefore dedicate this recipe to all the women who continue to fight for an equal place at the table, to be seen the same as their male counterparts, to be respected by their employers and rewarded based on merit rather than gender. Above all, I dedicate this to the women closest to me who do amazing things every day, with one woman in particular who never fails to show me her courage and fight – my oldest friend Devkee. You may remember from a previous recipe that Devkee ran the NYC marathon in November, raising money and awareness for MRF. She is now part of the incredible THIS GIRL CAN campaign and I am just constantly in awe of everything she conquers.
This blood orange loaf cake is deliciously light and moist and you really get the flavour of the blood orange through! The season for these beautiful blood oranges is almost over, but honestly, there is nothing stopping you doing this with everyday oranges, but if you can get hold of them I recommend you do. You will also find that if your blood orange segments are super dark, your glaze will have a deeper pink colour which is just stunning!
Finally, before I share the recipe, I just want to say Happy International Women’s Day to all women around the world, as Beyoncé says, WHO RUN THE WORLD – GIRLS! 💛
Ingredients 260g Plain flour 1 Tsp Baking powder 1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate soda 1/4 Tsp Salt 150g Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 250g Golden caster sugar 3 Eggs, room temperature 1 Tsp Vanilla extract 3 Blood oranges, juice + zest 120g Greek yogurt (0% Fat)
Glaze 250g Icing sugar 3-4 Tbsp Blood orange juice
Preheat the oven to 180℃/ 160℃ Fan, grease and line a 30x10cm / 12x4in loaf tin. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric whisk on medium speed – around 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides where necessary.
Add eggs one-by-one, whisking on low until well combined. Add vanilla, the zest of 2 oranges and whisk again to combine. Finally, pour in 1/4 cup (60ml) of freshly squeezed blood orange juice. Whisk once more to combine.
Add half the dry ingredients and half of the yoghurt and gently fold until almost combined. Pour in the rest of the dry ingredients and yoghurt and fold again until just combined – don’t over mix!
Carefully pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes. Check to see if it is cooked through using a toothpick in the middle of the loaf. If needed, put back in the oven for 5 minute intervals until the toothpick comes out clean. Remove and leave in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
For the glaze, sift half the icing sugar in a bowl and add 2Tbsp orange juice. Whisk to combine, if it is too runny, add more sugar. If you cannot taste the orange, add more juice (but be warned it will make it more runny). Continue slowly adding sugar/juice until you have a thick consistency – pour all over the cake, zest some more orange over the top and allow to set before slicing.