The first time I tried this cake was in Sydney’s “Little Portugal”, or Petersham, at a bakery known to have the city’s best custard tarts. Sweet Belem pumps out the tarts, but it does have many other desserts on offer, like this torta de laranja.
I’ve been in possession of a recipe for this torta for a few years now, a recipe that was forgotten about until the jaunt to Sweet Belem. Time to dust it off, methinks!
With my own adjustments, I’ve followed the basic procedure and came up with the same “roulade” that retains the firm custard-like texture and orange-eggy flavour. To be blunt, it’s almost like a firm and sweet orange omelette.
The sugar content in the traditional recipe is sky high, so I’ve reduced that a little. I also added some vanilla. And something tells me that a little cardamom powder wouldn’t go astray here, as well.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Line a 20 x 30 cm tray with baking paper, grease and sprinkle with about ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.
Place the 300 g sugar, cornflour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until uniform – about 30 seconds. Whisk in the orange juice, zest, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients, then gently pout the mixture into the prepared baking tin.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the custard is lightly golden and set in the middle. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Lay a clean tea towel on a work surface and sprinkle with a little sugar. Remove the cooked custard from the tray and, using the baking paper, quickly invert it onto the sugar-lined tea towel.
With the long side facing you, roll the baked custard into a cigar, using the towel to keep it tight. Keep it rolled in the towel, lat it on a board or plate, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.
To serve, cut into 1½ cm slices.