Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Bitter Orange & Almond Cake

Are you hating the holiday season yet? I'm trying to avoid any pre-Christmas annoyance by spending as much time at home or at the gym where I can ignore the fact that the whole world seems to have gone crazy. That and the fact that I didn't and am not planing to make any Christmas cookies this year.
I'm making up for my lack of festive spirit on that front by playing Christmas music pretty much all day long (especially this song) and by making my flat smell of bayberry.
This cake is inspired by Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake but I wanted bitter oranges and I didn't like the idea of having to remove all the pips in the bitter oranges before pureeing. I modified her recipe and I hope you'll like the new, somewhat less dense version as much as I do.
I made this cake for my team's Christmas party and while I thought it was nice that evening, the leftovers were even better the next day. The orange flavour intensifies overnight so while I'm sure you'll enjoy it the day you make it, if you have the time, make it the day before you need it.

Bitter Orange & Almond Cake
2 Bitter Oranges
1 'Normal' Orange
200g Ground Almonds
50g Coconut Flour
100g Flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 Eggs
180g Raw Cane Sugar
80 ml Olive Oil

Wash the oranges in hot water (even if they're organic and definitely don't use waxed oranges here), then put them into a pot with water and cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or so - I doubt 5 or 10 minutes more will ruin this recipe. Take the pot off the heat and allow the oranges to cool in the water.
Preheat your oven to 160˚C and grease and flour a 26cm springform tin.
Once the oranges are mostly cold, juice them and set the rinds of one bitter orange and the 'normal' orange aside. Discard the rest.
Make sure there are no pips left in the orange rinds, then puree the rinds using a food processor or an immersion blender.
Stir the flours, baking powder and ground almonds together.
Whisk the eggs and the sugar until they become somewhat fluffy (they're whole eggs so don't expect too much) then add the olive oil, orange juice and the flour mix. Don't overmix things but try to get things somewhat mixed. Then fold in the orange puree.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes. If the cake starts getting too dark, cover with tinfoil.
When the cake is done, keep it covered with the foil or cover it now. You can wrap it in a tea-towel but if you'll be eating the cake at home then just covering it should do the trick. Wrapping it means you can move the cake sooner if you are waaay to later for a Christmas party though (I'm totally going through a purely hypothetical scenario here).
This cake is lovely on its own but thick double cream or ice cream or custard work incredibly well with the slight bitterness of the oranges.
I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week and hopefully I'll find the time to write a bit more regularly :) My excuse is a good one though...the new layout and organisation of the blog is nearly ready and I should be able to share them with you before this baby turns three in January :)

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