Hey, I didn’t realise I had reached my one year mark and it was time for celebration. What do you say when your blog is a year old, “birthday”, “anniversary”,”Happy Blogday”, “Many Bloggy Returns”??? (LOL!!)
Last year seems like a light year away. My struggles with just setting up the blog….OMG the goof-ups and the frustrating hours trying to find my way around. Oh the terminology got me all wired up, wicked widgets, Sidey bars, felt like Whipping the Admin, and kicking the categories into outer space and de-Linking from the keyboard forever. I was so close to giving up and when I went through some blogs and saw the content I was brought closer to binging on a whole cake! How was I to keep up with the Jones. The passion for baking and chronicling my adventures was too deeply seeded and there was no way I was going to give in to mere technicalities. I trudged along and I can see myself today, charged, happy, unstoppable and hoping to leave behind a Food-print that I hope someone somewhere will walk on or discover.
So now let’s get on with the sweet present and celebrate. Orange Almond Cake is a Jewish creation baked during Passover. I first came across it on a food show “Food Safari” and I had to make it so I went googling. This recipe is adapted from a blog which is a delightful mix of two better halves coming together to blog about their personal passions…he cooks, She Sews.
I have modified it a little to suit my tastes and altered the method to Jill Dupleix’s who suggests whipping the egg whites separately to make the cake lighter. It’s a pretty straight forward cake, eggs, almonds, no flour, no butter (Yippee!!), but what intrigued me was the way the orange is incorporated. It made so much sense. The whole orange is boiled for an hour and a half, to soften it and remove the bitterness. Then pureed, it looked like orange nectar. The moist boiled fruit gives the cake an almost puddingish texture. If you over-bake it, worry not it will yet turn out moist. The taste is to die for, it’s like eating an orange candy pudding. But make no mistake it is definitely a cake. It’s just so sweet, moist and lush that you can’t decide if it’s a pudding, a candy or a cake.
ORANGE ALMOND CAKE
1 medium/small Orange
3 eggs, separated
100 grams Caster sugar
100 grams Almonds, skinned and lightly roasted
¾ teaspoon Baking powder
- Line a springform tin (7″ diameter) with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper and the sides of the tin. Preheat oven to 180o C Boil the orange for 1-1 ¼ hour. Top up the water when the level reduces. Remove from the water. Let it cool. Cut it open. Remove seeds. Puree with a hand blender and set aside
- Grind the almonds with a tablespoon of sugar to a fine powder or as fine as you can it.
- Whip the egg whites to soft peaks in a clean glass bowl. Set aside.(In order to save washing up I prefer to whisk the egg whites first)
- In another medium sized bowl, with the same beaters as the ones you used for the egg whites, beat together egg yolks and remaining caster sugar until light. Add in the orange and almonds and baking powder and beat until its one smooth mixture.
- To the cake mix add a heaped serving spoonful of egg whites and whisk in to lighten the mixture. Add the remaining egg whites in 2 batches and fold in gently with a spatula.
- Pour cake mix into the lined and oiled spring form tin 7’ in diameter and bake the cake at 180o C for approximately 25-30 minutes until the cake has browned and a skewer inserted in the centre has a few crumbs sticking to it.
- If the cake browns too fast, cover with a tin foil.
- Cool the cake and unmould it carefully if you are not using a springform cake tin. Mine cracked right down the middle.
- The cake keeps well in the refrigerator for atleast a week. Just give it a few minutes to thaw. Serve it by itself or as a dessert with a dollop of fresh cream and honey.