Upon my recent rifle through my kitchen cupboards I found some ground almonds. Well, three half empty packs of ground almonds. The by-products of three successful, albeit, separate attempts at macarons. The top of each was carefully rolled down to protect the insides and fastened with a grip then shoved back into the cupboard and forgotten about! I really need to have some sort of list of what is in my cupboards, taped to the inside of the door. Especially as I am small and the cupboards are so high… I also have to stand on tiptoes when I’m cooking. It’s a worry that one day I’ll end up with permanent Barbie feet…
So with three half full bags of ground almonds, no real energy for making macarons and a day that has so far sucked every last piece of inspiration out of me, I dipped into my copy of The Flavour Thesaurus. Almonds and Orange jumped out and luckily there was a recipe. Not all pairings have a recipe, but I love the book simply because it will give you inspiration. Plus I had some ‘questionable’ oranges in the fruit bowl…
The recipe in the book is an Almond and Orange Cake by Claudia Roden. I've tweaked it a bit, adjusting cooking times and a couple of extra ingredients. It is delicious and really moist. I cooked mine in a bundt tin and it was perfect for slicing for lunches. It is also gluten free and dairy free.
250gr ground almonds
250gr caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
Small handful of flaked almond
1, Simmer the oranges in a large pan of water for two hours. Keep an eye on it and top up the water if it gets low. My cake may have had a slight burnt orange taste. Which was in fact delicious mistake.
2, When they are lovely and soft, cut them up and pull out any of the big pips. Then blend the rest of them in a food processor with the ameretto until smooth. Peel, pith and all. Set this aside to cool for a bit
3, Preheat your oven to 190o/c.
4, Beat the eggs, sugar, baking powder and ground almonds together until well combined.
5, Quickly beat in the orange pulpy gloop.
6, Grease or line a bundt tin and sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds into the bottom. Pour in the cake batter bake for around 30-35 minutes. Check on it after about 20 minutes though. Test it is done with a skewer. You might need to stick a layer of foil over the top to stop it browning too much. The original recipe calls for it to be baked in a 9inch springform pan, for an hour.
7, When it’s cooked, leave it in its tin for 5 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before eating. Dust with a little icing sugar to hide the imperfections. Icing sugar makes everything look better.
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