When life gives you lemons, bake a flourless orange cake

By September 2, 2012Blog, dolci - sweets, recipes

I love how oranges brighten up a cold winter. Beautiful tangy oranges are a must in my kitchen during winter – not only because they brighten the place up, but also because you can have them with so many meals in the day – squeezed as orange juice for breakfast, grated zest with red beetroot gnocchi for lunch and whole in flourless orange cake for afternoon tea.

This much loved and much cooked flourless orange cake is made with 2 oranges, boiled whole for a couple of hours and then placed – skin, pips and all – into a blender. The resultant smooth orange puree is added to eggs, sugar, almonds, baking powder – a total of 5 ingredients. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. It is great to have a recipe that is suitable for your gluten free friends as well.

I have made it with blood red oranges and it is just as nice as using regular oranges, though if they are less sweet you may need to adjust the sugar. I love how blood oranges are available in Australia – back in the early 1970s and I was a little girl living in Italy, I was rather skeptical of red orange juice which my aunt would squeeze for me. It was clearly the wrong colour. However I grew up to know better – just because they are called oranges, it doesn’t mean they have to be orange.

This is a dense and moist cake that will keep for a week – I keep it in the fridge – I think it gets better with age! I serve it dusted with icing sugar and with a large dollop of mascarpone or creme fraiche. When you are having a bad day (and life gives you lemons), bake a flourless orange cake.

Flourless orange cake
2 oranges
5 large eggs
250g almond meal
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
icing sugar (for dusting)
mascarpone or creme fraiche (for serving)

Cover the oranges with water in a saucepan and simmer on low heat for 2 hours. Drain and allow to cool. Chop them into a few pieces and place them in the blender and whizz into a pulp. Place to one side.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Beat the eggs with the sugar until well combined. Add the orange puree and continue beating until the mixture is homogeneous. Now add the almond meal and baking powder – some recipes say to fold the final ingredients in – I used my KitchenAid for the lot and it worked out fine. Place the cake mixture in a greased and lined tin with a removable base. Place in the oven and bake for 50 – 55 minutes until the cake is golden on top and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool before placing some icing sugar on the top using a fine sieve. Serve with mascarpone.

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