Sunday, April 5, 2009

Orange and Almond Cake



On Friday I left off with the promise that my next post would include a picture and method for making flourless, Orange and Almond cake, which I consumed that evening at my very successful birthday dinner.

You'll note that I've posted more than a picture -- above is a hilarious video of the cake topped with an elaborate, flowering candle which bursts into flame and birthday song for the ultimate celebratory experience.

What fun we had, and as you'll hear above the din of music and chatter, I stress how delicious the cake smells.

The scent of orange is strong in this moist, souffle-like, gluten-free cake, and that means it lends itself well to flavor pals like fresh berries, yogurt, whipped cream, and or dark, grated chocolate.

I don't tend to include recipes in my blog but rather, fairly loose methods for preparing meals (since I feel this allows for personal innovation and creativity).

However, this cake requires measured ingredients, so I'm including an ingredient list and method.

Orange and Almond Cake
4 oranges, washed well to remove sprays and wax
1 -1/2 cups of almond meal
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 eggs

Method
1) Throw oranges into a pot and cover with water. Simmer till oranges are completely tender (about 2 hours). Allow to cool, then cut oranges into pieces, removing pips. Put oranges and any remaining liquid into a food processor and whiz oranges (skin included) to a smooth pulp.
2) Now separate eggs placing whites into one bowl and yolks into another.
3) Pour sugar into yolks then beat till mixture turns creamy.
4) Add almond meal and mix in thoroughly.
5) Stir in baking powder.
6) Whisk egg whites till stiff then fold into orange and almond mix.
7) Line the bottom of a spring-form circular pan with baking paper or oiled foil.
8) Pour batter into pan and bake in 350 degree oven for about 50 mins.
9) Let cake sit and cool before removing spring-form. Sit cake on a platter and dust with icing sugar.

Optional: You may add a teaspoon of Cointreau or Frangelico to the cake mix to enhance either the orange flavor and scent or the nutty sweetness. Or you can add either of the liquors to whipped cream and serve this with the cake along with any of the fruit mentioned above.

3 comments:

BoP said...

I've been wondering since you posted the Twitpic photo whether this was a variant of the flourless cake that most people attribute to Nigella Lawson (who knows where it's really from, though; I've seen references to Claudia Roden and James Beard as well). I made this too and, as is my wont, gave out painfully detailed instructions, even though I did also note that this recipe is pretty tolerant of ingredient quantity variations. I'm curious why you whipped the egg whites separately. How did that affect the texture? Your cake didn't get as dark as mine -- is that an effect of whipping the egg yolks/whites separately?

Louise Ross said...

Hello BowlOfPlenty, I don't know where the recipe for this cake came from. For many years Orange and Almond Cake has been a staple in swishy coffee-cafes in Melbourne, Australia (where I'm from), and just as many years ago, my sister shared her recipe for said cake with me. I do see from your link that you offer wonderfully detailed instructions for making the cake, and you're right it is tolerant of ingredient & quantity variation, which I love since I don't like to follow recipes, but rather, prefer to creatively manipulate them. Whipping the whites aerates the cake, giving it added volume and lightness -- a souffle-like texture. Probably it only 'appears' not to be as dark; and on the other hand it might not have been in the oven as long as your cake. Thanks for your comment and for visiting my blog.

JulieAnnStorr said...

My goodness I am learning so much from your blog Louise and am rather inspired by your creative food concoctions, especially the orange almond cake. I also love how you write - your blog and self deprecating humour always make me smile. The video was great - wonderful idea for a cooking show - with you serving up food, fun and laughter to guests - without breaking the bank - the perfect ingredients for us all to enjoy the simple things in life during these rocky times! You've got to have friends! THANK YOU!