To celebrate spring, I bring you a squidgy, pudding-like cake, pretty and sunshine-coloured. My mum made this orange and almond cake recently and gave me a slice – a wodge – and I was instantly in love with its rich texture and gentle orange flavor (next to apple cakes, orange ones are one of my favourites).
A sort thru the pantry revealed I had two large packets of almond meal, and a perusal of the fruit bowl at work on Friday afternoon saw a handful of those gorgeous red oranges, just crying out to be rescued. And as mum’s chooks are laying like crazy after their winter hiatus, I had three dozen eggs in the fridge just busting for a high-egg-count big-cake bake.
This is a perfect afternoon-cup-of-tea cake – the bergamot flavours of a good earl grey are particularly complimentary. But it’s also nice with a dollop of thick cream at the end of a long day.
Orange and almond cake
Adapted from a recent Coles supermarket magazine. If you’re lucky enough to have two electric beaters (I have hand held and a stand mixer) this will save you washing up halfway thru.
- Preheat oven to 180 and prep a 22cm round cake tin.
- First, zest 1 or 2 oranges, and then juice them (and more if needed) for 150ml juice.
- Separate 5 eggs. Cream the yolks with 250 gm sugar; if you have stand mixer, use it here. Add the zest and 1 tspn vanilla paste - the specks look pretty in the final cake.
- Then stir thru ½ cup plain flour, 220 grams almond meal (the recipe specified 250 gms, but I couldn’t get any more in) and the juice.
- With separate or clean beaters, whisk the egg whites until they are just stiff. Using a metal spoon, take a dollop and bash it in; I’m never too precious about the first scoop. Then fold thru the remaining white in two or three batches more carefully. It will look like you’re trying to combine soap bubbles with concrete – an impossible task – but it will happen.
- Plop into cake tin and bake 45 minutes or until done. Cool on a rack, then turn out to cool a bit more, then dust with icing sugar if you wish.