If You Always Do What You've Always Done...Then You'll Always Get What You Always Got

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Orange and Almond Cake

...or, the Free Cake.

Going to a dinner party last night, I volunteered to bring dessert.  This had to be free from seafood (well, that bit was easy); not spicy; and lactose-free.  I knew all this before I volunteered and thought it would be a good challenge.  We very nearly had poached fruit of some variety, but in one of my coma days last week (seriously, all I could do was look at a couple of pages at a time of this recipe book), I came across this recipe.  Score!  It's from Cooking from the Market: Fruit.

Ingredients (note the pretty picture this time!):

2 large oranges
5 eggs
250g (9 oz/2 1/2 cups) ground almonds
220g (7 3/4 oz/1 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
icing sugar, to dust

Grease a 22 cm spring-form cake tin, line base with baking paper.

(If shop-bought), scrub the oranges under warm running water to remove any wax coating from the skins.  Put the whole oranges in a saucepan, cover with water and boil for 1 hour.  Remove from the water and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Using a plate to catch any juice, cut the cooled oranges into quarters and remove any seeds.  Blend the orange quarters, including the skin, in a food processor or blender until they turn to a pulp.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy.  Add the orange pulp and any reserved juice to the bowl along with the almonds, sugar and baking powder.  Mix thoroughly to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin.  Bake for 1 hour or until the cake is firm to touch and lightly golden.  Cook the cake a little longer if it still wet.  Remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  Dust with sifted icing sugar before serving.  (This last photo is the last piece, so the icing sugar had all melted in - I wasn't about to re-sugar just for photos!).

I did have a few wet bits at the end of the hour, so turned off the oven and put the cake back in.  I ended up going for a run, and by the time I returned the cake was fully cooked and the oven cool.  I didn't take it off the base of the tin for cooling, and just put the cake and base in a large container for transporting to dinner.  This went down rather well - I served it with mascarpone but nearly made it ricotta, I think either would go equally well.  Lactose free, then, unless you indulge in fatty dairy products on the side.

Today's photo:

Another brilliant blue sky for the morning.  By the time I was home from church it was grey.

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