Seville orange yoghurt sponge drop cookies

Seville orange yoghurt sponge drop cookies

Seville orange yoghurt sponge drop cookies

Seville oranges: I love their bitter, strong flavour, and bought some at the market without any clear idea about what to do with them. Then this month’s AlphaBake challenge letter was Y, and I love yoghurt in general and yoghurt cakes in particular. And I’ve longed to make Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit yoghurt cake. And I love lemon curd…

So a whole lot of ideas came together. I’d make a Seville Orange curd, and turn the cake into little drop cookies, and sandwich them together with it. And I did, and  they’re delicious. They look rather ordinary, but trust me: a lovely sharp orange flavour makes them light but distinctly moreish.
I used Seville oranges to make these: the sharp oranges we get in the UK for a few weeks in January. If you can’t get them, then you could substitute any sharp citrus: lemons, limes, or indeed grapefruit as in the Smitten Kitchen recipe. Sevilles don’t have much juice so I’d swap them one-for-one for lemons or limes; probably one decent juicy grapefruit has as much juice in it as four Sevilles.

To bake them, I used my Lakeland silicone macaron mats. I have yet to use these for macarons, but found my first one so handy for making chocolate drops that I bought a second one. These helped to keep the drop cookies to roughly the same shape. If you don’t have a macaron mat (and why would you?) then you could draw circles on one side of a piece of baking parchment, then flip it over and use it as a guide to create little drops. Or, to be more sensible, bake the mixture as fairy cakes, cupcakes, or in sandwich tins and turn it into a proper cake.

The drops are filled with Seville orange curd. That’s easy to make and delicious in its own right – even better than lemon curd. But if you don’t want to do two recipes, then the little drops (or the fairy cakes you’re more likely to make) are good to eat without the filling.

Drops filled with orange curd

Drops filled with orange curd

Equipment – for the drops

Scales
Measuring cups
Large bowl
Lemon squeezer or citrus press
Small sieve or tea-strainer
Microplane citrus grater or some other way of getting zest off a citrus fruit
Wooden Spoon
Oven
Lakeland silicone macaron mats (I used two), or baking sheets, or other cake tins
Teaspoon
Cooling rack

Ingredients

Plain flour – 200g, (1 1/2 cups)
Pinch of salt
Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
Seville oranges – about 4 (or use an equivalent sharp citrus fruit)
Plain yoghurt – 230g (1 cup)
Sugar – 200g (1 cup) (I used ordinary granulated, but caster would be fine)
Eggs – 3 large free-range
Sunflower oil – 120 ml (1/2 cup) (or use equivalent oil or melted butter if you prefer)

Method

  1. Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 160 degrees for a fan oven.
  2. Put flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl.
  3. Use the Microplane grater, or other method of your choice, to get the zest off the Seville oranges and into the bowl. You want about a tablespoon of zest in all.
  4. Use the lemon squeezer or citrus press to get the juice out of the Sevilles. You need 80ml (1/3 cup) of juice. I needed 4 Sevilles to get that much juice. If yours come up a little short, add a bit of water to make up the difference. Sevilles are usually full of pips, so you’ll need a small sieve or tea-strainer to make sure that the pips stay out of the juice.
  5. Add the sugar,  yoghurt, oil and Seville juice to the flour mixture.
  6. Stir it all together vigorously until it’s nice and smooth.
  7. Spoon scant teaspoonfuls into each hole on the macaron mat, or whatever you have decided in the way of cooking them.
  8. Bake until just slightly browned at the edges, about 10 minutes. Fairy cakes will take more like 15 minutes, cupcakes about 20, and ordinary cakes probably more like half an hour for two 20cm/8″ layers, 50 minutes for a loaf cake.
  9. If making little drops, let them cool very slightly then flip them onto a cooling rack and do another couple of batches.
  10. Optional: sandwich pairs of drops with Seville orange curd – recipe follows.

Credit: recipe adapted from: Smitten Kitchen’s grapefruit yoghurt cake

Makes: lots! I forgot to count. At least 100 little drops, making 50 sandwiches. The drops keep for a few days; sandwich them when you’re going to eat them.

Baking fun: I experimented with how long to bake them for. We decided that they were all good, even the “well done” (= almost burned) ones.

drops-in-the-tin

Even on the silicone mat, some of the drops escaped from their little circles. Still tasted good, though. This batch shows probably the best amount of ‘doneness’: brown at the edges, pale in the middle.

Seville drops on baking mat
Seville drops on baking mat

Seville orange curd

This makes a really zingy curd that I love, but which definitely takes no prisoners. If you want a milder effect, then double the sugar for curd that is still assertive. Or even double it again for something that’s more along the lines of a bought lemon curd.

Equipment – for the Seville orange curd

Scales
Measuring cups
Lemon squeezer or citrus press
Small sieve
Microplane citrus grater or some other way of getting zest off a citrus fruit
Magiwhisk, or ordinary whisk or wooden spoon
Small saucepan

Ingredients

Seville oranges – about 4 (or use an equivalent sharp citrus fruit)
Unsalted butter – 75g, (2/3 cup)
Eggs – 3 large free-range
Sugar – 75g (1/3 cup) for a very sharp curd. Use double for a milder one.

Method

  1. Use the Microplane grater, or other method of your choice, to get the zest off the one of the Seville oranges and into the saucepan.
  2. Use the lemon squeezer or citrus press to get the juice out of all the Sevilles. You need 125ml (1/2 cup) of juice. When I made the curd, my Sevilles must have been younger and juicier because I only needed four of them. Sevilles are usually full of pips, so you’ll need a small sieve or tea-strainer to make sure that the pips stay out of the juice.
  3. Add the butter to the saucepan and melt it over a gentle heat.
  4. Stir in the juice, sugar and eggs.
  5. Stir continuously over a gentle heat with your Magiwhisk or other stirrer until it thickens.

This will keep in the fridge for a few days, not longer.

Credit: recipe adapted from: Nigella Lawson’s “Domestic Goddess”

Calories:

The whole recipe of drops comes out to around 3000 calories. If you get 100 little drops, they are 30 calories each. 10 servings of a cake: 300 cals per serving.

The whole recipe of curd comes out to around 1160 calories. If you add about a teaspoon to each pair of drops, that will mean the little sandwiches come out at about 75 to 80 calories a go.

I’m sending this to Alphabakes as the letter of the month is ‘Y’. Thanks to Ros of The more than occasional baker for being this month’s host of the challenge.

Alphabakes logo

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