I suppose I should have adorned my little orange cake with a cream cheese frosting and some pretty orange peel curls, or maybe I should have piped some rosettes of frosting around the outer edges. I should have done something to make it a little showier, something to make it more photogenic. Don’t you think it needs something to give it a more appetizing appeal?
Trust me, plain, unadorned, this cake sells itself on first bite. Bake it and you will see.
I first spotted the recipe a few months ago (maybe during the Christmas Holidays?) but there was one ingredient that caused me to hesitate…the oh-so-expensive Almond flour.
My gut seems to be happier when I avoid grains, so I have been using a lot of nut flours but they do not come cheap. For example, one pound of almond flour yields approximately 4 cups. If we look at a Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour (1 lb, 453 grams) package, it usually costs $12 – $15 CAD. That’s a whopping $3 per cup, times the 3 cups required for this recipe, equals $9 and that’s before adding the cost of 3 organic free range eggs (its a personal preference), a cup of unrefined sugar and a jumbo unwaxed seedless orange. I figure it cost me about $12, or $1 per slice to make this cake.
I suppose if I were to solely consider the health benefits, this treat would be worth every bit of the dollar per slice price tag but I still wish I could find a reliable, less expensive source for uncontaminated blanched almond flour in Canada. I have seen it priced as low as $1.50 per 100g or about $6.75lb in the bulk foods section at some grocery stores but there is a high possibility of cross-contamination with scoop-it-yourself bulk food.
If you know of a good online source for blanched almond flour here in Canada, please share, I would love to know.
My cake is darker than the original because I used coconut palm sugar instead of fine white castor sugar. I’m wondering if I could make an orange cake with honey as the sweetener and how about the addition of a few chopped pecans? Yep, a super moist orange cake made with honey and a light sprinkling of pecans, now doesn’t that sound good?
As for the original source, my research suggests the recipe first appeared in a 1968 release of “A New Book of Middle Eastern Food” by Claudia Roden but apparently the recipe for flourless orange and almond cake was omitted from subsequent updated versions of the book.
In 2004, the recipe, attributed to Claudia Roden, made an appearance in “The Cook’s Companion” by Stephanie Alexander. I first spotted the recipe on “target=”_blank”>Scandi Foodie, who found the recipe onTaste.com.au. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising to find the recipe on these Australian sites, I hear some version of this classic orange cake can be found in most coffee shops in Sydney and Melbourne.
- 2 oranges or 1 jumbo orange, best if unwaxed and seedless
- 3 eggs, I prefer organic free range
- 1 Cup coconut palm sugar, or powdered unrefined sugar substitute of choice
- 3 Cups blanched almond flour
- 11/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
- small amount of icing sugar and orange rind curls for garnish (optional)
- Place the orange(s) in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
- Return to saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for another 15 minutes (this apparently reduces the bitterness of the orange peel). Drain.
- Refresh under cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop orange(s). Remove and discard any seeds.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
- Place the cooked orange segments, peels and all, in a food processor or blender and process until fairly smooth.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together.
- Add orange puree, almond meal, baking soda and almond extract, gently fold until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The cake will be dark brown, with a centre that is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the centre will come out clean. Set aside to cool.
- Transfer cooled cake to a serving plate, sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with orange rind (if desired).
- Add a handful of chopped pecans to the batter before baking.
- Frost with a cream cheese frosting.
Recipe by Laureen.
Preparation time: 45 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Gluten Free | Grain Free | Dairy Free | Refined Sugar Free
Number of servings (yield): 12
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