What do you do when you live on a former citrus orchard and your orange tree goes, um, bananas? Invite friends around for lunch so you have an excuse to bake – this cake is amazing. If this recipe has a few too many steps for you, cull the candied oranges. But if you can be bothered… it turns this cake into something extra special. It would be easy to turn this into a gluten free recipe by replacing the flour with more almond meal, or using a gluten free flour substitute.
For the orange cake
1 1/2 c sugar
200g butter (at room temperature)
2 and 3/4 c ground almonds (or ‘almond meal’ – same thing)
pinch of salt
For the syrup
3/4 cup orange juice (squeeze the juice from the zested oranges you used for the cake!)
5 tablespoons sugar
Candied Orange Slices
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (bake). Grease a 25 cm round (spring-form) cake tin with butter (or spray oil). Line the bottom of it with baking paper as well.
- First we wan to make zest-infused sugar: Get your orange zest and place it in a food processor (I used my Magic Bullet!) with 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Blitz till it’s finely ground.
- In the bowl of a cake mixer/hand beater, or even by hand if you don’t have a cake mixer (it’ll still work!) beat the butter together with the zest-infused sugar until it’s well-combined.
- In another seperate bowl combine the ground almonds, flour, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add half of the almond mixture to the butter, then add the eggs one by one, stopping the machine a few times (if using a cake mixer) to scrape the sides down. Then add the remaining almond mixture, stirring until just combined.
- Scrape the cake batter into the creased cake tin, levelling the top of the cake batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out relatively clean. While the cake is baking, make the syrup.
In a medium sized saucepan heat the 3/4 cup orange juice and 6 tablespoons of sugar until boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. When the cake comes out of the oven, brush the syrup all over the hot cake. Leave the cake in the cake tin to completely cool.
Candied Orange Slices
Cut the orange into 3-4mm slices. Put in a small saucepan,add enough water to cover the organges well, and bring to a simmer. Blanch the slices for ten minutes, then drain well. After draining put the oranges back in the saucepan and add 2/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water. Simmer the oranges for about seven minutes, or until they are tender and translucent.
To serve: Serve slices of the cake, accompanied by a slice of candied orange and some of the leftover syrup. Also lovely with some natural yogurt.