December is upon us and I’m excited to embrace all the festivities to come. I had mapped out blog posts of cocktails and cookies, all the edible/drinkable gifts I love to bestow on my friends, and then I caught a bug that lasted a full two weeks and I’m still recovering! Whoa. So instead I’m embracing a selfcare mantra, the calm, the Hygge and being content with this single blog post. I’m truly excited that I was able to bake and photograph this cake before the flu took hold, this is such a magnificent little gem of a bake, it needs to show up at your next gathering with loved ones.
This cake is so appealing to me because of my love of all citrus. I look forward to the winter months when these vibrantly colored orbs are at their peak. They show up in our markets when the days are shorter and the skies are grey, and give our senses the brightness and light we are craving. Funny how nature works like that. The explanation of this magical citrus cake is the incorporation of two whole oranges, yup, rinds and all. I was so curious about this recipe when I first read about it and the use of the entire citrus. The recipes yields the most delicious moist cake and the almond flour lends a lot to the texture. I would try to roughly stick to the weight of the oranges listed in this recipe, boiling them adds to the moisture in the cake, the baking time may very a bit depending on the wetness of the batter, check the cake after the recommended baking time. When sourcing your fruit for the cake I would strongly recommend going organic since you are blanching for a bit, you don’t want any other flavors other than orange leaching from the fruit. Also if you’re in a area that has great citrus or imports great citrus mix it up a bit, that’s one of my favorite aspects of cooking is sourcing ingredients, this recipe has me day dreaming of blood oranges from Sicily, lemons from the Amalfi Coast and the sweet coastal oranges of Valencia I savored with my husband years ago in Spain. I always recommend having recipes in your repertoire that take you to a time and place and warms your heart every time you eat them. Happy baking!
Adapted from What To Bake And How To Bake It, Jane Hornby
2 medium organic oranges , roughly 6 1/2 oz each
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
3 cups almond meal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sliced alomonds
thick Greek yogurt or creme fraiche to serve
Put oranges in a medium pan, then cover with water and a lid. Bring to a simmer, then boil for 1 hour.
Grease a 9 inch round springform pan with a little oil, then line with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Drain the oranges and when cool enough to handle, cut into larger pieces and remove any pips. Put them , skin and all, in a food processor. Add sugar and blitz to a smooth purée.
Add eggs to the processor, then whizz for a minute longer until paler and thickened.
Pour in the almond meal, baking powder, salt and oil and process for a few seconds to make a smooth, evenly blended batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, then scatter with sliced almonds.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until the cake is golden all over and has risen all the way to the center, and a skewer in the middle comes out clean. Remove and let cool in pan for 10 minutes ( the cake will sink back down to become flat ). Once cooled run an icing spatula between the cake and the pan and unclip the sides. Let the cake cool on the pan base, on a cooling rack.
There’s a trick to getting a cake with a loose topping onto a plate without any troubles. Flip the cake upside down onto a flat plate, then remove the pan base and parchment paper. Put a serving plate on top, then turn it the right way up. Serve with thick Greek yogurt or creme fraiche.