Friday, 1 July 2016

Orange & Almond Cake

Today I made an Orange & Almond Cake, which is something new to me.  It was suggested to me by one of my sisters.  You may recall my references to a sister in Canada, Margaret also known as La La.  But it was not she who made the suggestion.  I also have a sister in Australia, whose name is Pat.  Now you may wonder why my sisters like to live so far from me, but that is a matter for a future debate.  

Pat said that she had a friend who made this wonderful Almond and Orange cake and perhaps I would like to try it.  So I did some investigations to see what it was all about.  The interesting thing to me is how few ingredients are required and the method of making.  Basically oranges, almonds, sugar and eggs(and sometimes baking powder). 

The various videos I watched all seemed to do it slightly differently, some beating yolks and whites separately.  Some beating them together to a very thick consistency.  But the method I used, from a recipe on BBC Food, by James Martin is an 'all in one' method really and very simple indeed.  he topped his with flaked almonds, but I decided upon a syrup/icing instead.

The one common thread through all the recipes I checked was that the oranges would be simmered for a long time, and then processed to a pulp, including the peel.  That pulp who be mixed in with the eggs, almonds and sugar to creat the batter.  So no butter or oil is necessary.

The resultant cake is a wonderfully moist one, with a soft, light, texture and a great flavour.  

I also made a syrup of orange and sugar and poured it over the top.  This, in my case, created a lovely icing which slightly seeped into holes I had created.  However if the syrup was hotter when poured it would be more liquid and more would seep in.  I am very happy with how mine turned out though, so an iced version is perfect for me.

I do urge you to try this, it is wonderful, so thanks to Pat for the suggestion.

One last note, for those who are interested this cake is gluten free.
Orange & Almond Cake

                                 Orange & Almond Cake - Video
Ingredients:
For the cake:
  • 2 large oranges(about 450 grams)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 6 medium eggs
For the syrup/icing:
  • 150g caster sugar
  • the zest of one orange
  • juice of one orange
Method:
  1. Place two large oranges in a pan of cold water.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer, with the lid on the pan, for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the oranges from the water and allow them to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
  5. Grease a 23cm/9 inch springform cake tin, and line the base with parchment paper
  6. Chop the oranges into chunks, removing any pips.
  7. Place the chunks into a food processor and blitz until you have a nice consistent pulp.
  8. Add the eggs, sugar and ground almonds to the processor and process until the batter is a smooth consistency.
  9. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.  
  10. Check after 25 minutes and if the cake is browning too quickly lightly cover with tin foil.
  11. Remove the baked cake from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  12. Carefully remove from the cake tin onto a rack to cool more.
  13. While the cake is still baking you can make the syrup by adding the sugar, zest and juice to a saucepan and bringing to the boil.
  14. Allow it to simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken and reduce.
  15. Remove from the heat. 
  16. If you want the syrup to soak into your cake you need it to be not too thick and still quite hot.
  17. Then poke holes, with a skewer, into the top of the cake and pour the syrup over.
  18. If you want the syrup to be more of an icing, like mine, allow it to cool more and then pour over the cake, spreading to the edge.  As it cools it will form a firm icing.
  19. Cut into slices when the cake is fully cooled and serve with some cream, if you wish.




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