Orange and Almond Cake

Think about the best way to eat an orange. You’re probably starting that thought with ‘Peel it’.

Right, start again

The correct answer is… eat the whole thing… yes, even the peel!

Bear with me…

Eat the whole thing, blended into a cake!

When I was first introduced to my Mum’s Orange and Almond Cake, I was shocked to find out that the secret ingredient was an entire orange. The cake was definitely very ‘orangey’, but the peel gives it this added tang, creating an irresistibly citrusy and incredibly satisfying treat!

And the trick? Open up the orange with a knife (to prevent any unwanted explosions), and send the fruity globe for a 10 minute spin in the microwave. The result is an orange that’s soft enough to be blended up, added to some eggs, almonds, and sugar, and baked for 50 minutes to create a light, fluffy, and totally moreish, cake.

The second surprise of the day was realising how easy it can be to bake a fantastic tasting gluten and dairy free cake. The allergen free lifestyle gets a lot of flak, with a common view being that gluten/dairy free foods are either inedible, or that they require a load of expensive and specialist ingredients.

This cake is not only incredibly easy to make, it also makes loads so there is enough to share with even your gluten and dairy eating friends (if you really want to!)

Equipment

  • 23cm cake tin
  • Baking parchment

Ingredients

  • A large orange (about 280g)
  • 5 eggs
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 25g self-raising gluten free flour

To decorate

  • Icing Sugar
  • Flaked Almonds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4). Line the bottom and sides of a 23 cm cake tin, loose bottomed or spring clip if you have it, with baking parchment.
  2. Wash the orange and cut a deep cross in the top, about a third of the way into the orange. Place it into a microwave safe dish and cook on high for about 8 minutes (It needs to be soft enough to blend or chop up, so give it a bit longer if needed). Put aside the juice in the dish.
  3. Remove the seeds from the orange, and blend. The mixture won’t be smooth, but if it looks too dry then some water/orange juice can be added to slacken it a bit. If you don’t have a blender, you can chop it up very finely with a sharp knife.
  4. Separate the egg yolks and whites and place into two separate bowls.
  5. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, and then gradually whisk in half the caster sugar.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar until the mixture turns pale and thickens slightly.
  7. Whisk the finely chopped oranges into the egg yolk mixture, and then carefully fold the almonds and flour into the egg yolk mixture.
  8. Add about 3 tablespoons of the whisked egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to loosen the batter, and then gently fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon.
  9. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and level the top. If you want your cake extra nutty, then sprinkle on some flaked almonds
  10. Bake for 45–55 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check halfway and cover lightly with foil if it is browning too quickly.
  11. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out, remove the paper and transfer to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

 

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