This cake was a big hit at the Father's Day party we had last weekend.
I remember watching Better Homes and Gardens on TV a couple of years back, Karen Martini made a scrumptious looking cake using whole oranges. I've been wanting to try it out but didn't have a food processor then. So last week, when I was planning the menu for the weekend, I searched the Internet for a recipe like that. I was pleasantly surprised. It looked so simple, just 5 ingredients and the steps looked relatively easy. The process of cooking the whole oranges may seem a little lenghty, but truly the intense flavour of the citrus in the end product is worthwhile. And if you wish, you could always do it in advance and let it cool and then refrigerate for until you're ready to use.
I put together this recipe, from the March 2007 edition of Better Homes and Gardens and a few other recipes from the net. The recipes all vary in the ratio of eggs and almond meal, but the basic ingredients are pretty much all the same.
3 whole oranges
150g castor sugar
250g almond meal
1 tablespoon plain flour (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Note: If you like a sweeter cake, you can put in a little more sugar. The original recipe calls for 300g sugar (and 350g almond meal). The flour gives the cake a firmer, less crumbly texture. This can be omitted if you want a gluten-free cake. Don't forget also to use a gluten-free baking powder.
1. Wash and scrub the skins of the oranges, and place them whole (skins and all) into a pot. Cover with cold water. Place over high heat and bring it to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the oranges and refresh the water and repeat the process again 3 times. This is so that the oranges don't end up reabsorbing the bitterness that has seeped into the water. The boiling process took about an hour, some recipes call for simmering the oranges up to 2 hours.
2. Drain and let the oranges cool to about room temperature. Quarter the oranges and remove any seeds and pith. Place oranges in a food processor and blend until a fine puree. Add in eggs, almond meal, flour (if using), baking powder and sugar. Process until well combined and somewhat smooth.3. Pour into a lined, 23cm round baking tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees celcius for 50 minutes, or until skewer comes out clean.
4. Cool cake in the pan completely before removing. It is best to leave the cake overnight to allow the flavour to intensify even further.
5. Serve with candied orange peel or an orange glaze if preferred. The cake was unbelievably delicious just on its own. So moist, it's almost like a baked custard or a pudding rather than a cake.
It has definitely made its way to our family's favourite dessert list. It didn't last very long, I had to yell out for someone to take a picture of the cake before it disappears!