Hello my fellow foodies and welcome to not only to a brand new month but to a bright and shiny new year! I hope you all enjoyed the festivities with your nearest and dearest and are looking forward to all the possibilities 2020 may bring you.
This month I would like to share with you one of my favourite recipes for orange cake. This is slightly unconventional in its preparation, but the resulting cake is a light and fluffy in texture and rich, almost marmalade-like in flavour. It yields appropriately 12 large sized portions and is delicious both hot and cold. One final note; if you use gluten-free baking powder then this cake is great for anyone who wishes to eat gluten free.
2 whole oranges scrubbed, and stalk removed
6 eggs from happy free running hens
225g caster sugar
200g ground Almonds
1 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar to dust over
Let’s begin by popping the two whole oranges into a pan of water and bringing it to the boil. Leave them to simmer for two hours until they are soft to touch. Take care to top up the water level during the cooking time. Remove from the water and leave to cool. This step can be done a day or two in advance of making the cake.
Next, turn on the oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 23cm round loose bottomed cake tin. Now cut the oranges in half and remove any pips, then place into the food processor and whizz until you have a smooth pulp consistency. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs yolks and caster sugar until pale in colour, thick, airy and mousse like in consistency. Combine the ground almonds, the polenta and the baking powder then fold these in with the orange purée and the egg yolk mixture.
In a separate and totally grease free bowl, whip the egg whites until they can stand in stiff peaks. Take a spoonful of the egg whites and mix it into the orange mix – this will help loosen up the mixture and make it easier to combine the rest of the egg white. Take care as you combine the remaining egg white into the mix – if you are too heavy handed, you will knock out the air from the mix which will result in a heavy pudding rather than a light and airy sponge.
All that remains to do is to carefully pour the mixture into the tin. Gently ‘wobble’ the tin to smooth the surface (again don’t bang or tap!) and pop it into the oven for approximately 45 minutes until it has risen and has a beautiful, golden brown surface. I would advise leaving the cake to settle for 20 minutes or so before taking it out of the tin, but it is delicious served warm with a small dollop of whipped cream or in large slices accompanied with a steaming cup of tea!
Until next time dear reader…}