Scrumptious Orange Almond Cake
Oranges are still everywhere and I love the freshness that this super healthy fruit lends to anything I use it with – in salads, juices, salad dressings, marmalade or just as is, which is the best way to eat oranges.
The wonder of this cake is that it has the freshness of oranges and the goodness of almonds and there is no added fat. It’s an absolutely winner and truly truly scrumptious. This is a traditional Middle Eastern recipe that is originally gluten free (omit the flour, use 6 eggs and the rest of the ingredients as in the recipe below) and was first shared with me by my dear friend Kanika. But I found a version with flour in the Five-A-Day Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook, so I combined both recipes to come up with this lighter, less dense cake. Serve it for a brunch or tea as is, or top with an orange glaze like I did, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side for a dinner dessert.
2 large Mandarin (Kinnow/Malta) oranges (400g)
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (225g) granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
2 heaped cups (250g) almond meal/ground almonds (blanch almonds, peel off the skins, dry completely and grind to a fine powder)
¼ cup refined flour (maida)
Confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)
Orange Glaze (optional, see recipe below)
Cleaned orange segments, for serving (optional)
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
1. Wash the oranges and place in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water. Pressure cook for 10 minutes after steam arises and the whistle is placed. Or you can slow cook the oranges in a covered saucepan – bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour. Drain and cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease an 8 or 9” spring form pan and line it with baking paper.
3. Cut the cooled oranges in half and remove the seeds/pips. Place the rest of the oranges (skin, pith, pulp and all) in a food processor and puree till smooth.
4. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar well. Fold in the almond flour (first mix it well to loosen) and baking powder and flour (sieve together). Gently mix in the orange puree.
5. Pour into the baking pan, spread out evenly and bake for 1 hour or until until done (toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean). Cool completely. Turn out onto a plate and remove the baking paper lining.
6. You have a couple of options for decorations. You could dust it with
confectioners sugar (sieve it onto the cake) and garnish with toasted slivered almonds, if you wish. Or you can make an orange glaze (recipe below), spread it on the cake and then garnish with toasted slivered almonds. You could also serve it with peeled orange segments, for a fresh touch and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side for a special occasion.
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange marmalade or apricot jam
Put all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and boil for 5-7 minutes until thick.