This is the cake that I made last week for birthday at work. A very simple cake to make but oh so very rewarding. I remember the first time I made an orange and almond cake. It was a total disaster. This time though I had a cake that was moist, slightly light (thanks to the whipped egg whites) and gloriously fragrant. This recipe has two slight variations from the Claudia Roden recipe for this cake that made it famous round the world in the form of the orange blossom water and the separated eggs. I could just about have this cake every day with a cup of tea for afternoon tea.
Orange and Almond Cake
2 large oranges
220g almond meal
220g white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
6 eggs, separated
a dash of orange blossom water if needed
Simmer the oranges in water to cover for 1 1/2-2hrs, longer is better as it means the oranges will be softer. Drain the oranges and allow to cool. Cut open, remove the seeds and pith. Puree the oranges in a blender. Heat oven to 180Â°C. Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale, beat in the orange puree, almond meal and baking powder. Whip the egg whites till you have soft peaks and fold gently into the cake mixture. Pour into a spring form cake pan, at least 20cm, 23cm is better. Bake until the cake has started to pull away from the edges of the pan and is firm to touch – it should take an hour, it may take longer. If the cake starts browning too much, cover with foil. Cool and then dust with icing sugar. Serve with cream if you are feeling decadent or Greek yoghurt if more restrained. If you are faced with oranges that are not very fragrant, add a little orange blossom water.
To make the pattern with the icing sugar, I arranged strips of paper over the cake top and dusted over the paper.