This, my dears, is a love-at-first bite cake. I’ve been courting this exact Orange Almond Cake for over a year. We had a fleeting affair when a mutual friend introduced us, then the cake and I lost touch. The search was on. I missed it. Missed it’s super-orange flavour, mouth melty-ness and general squidginess. And the scent! That heady aroma of sweet orange and earthy almonds. I’ve had brief flings with other flourless orange cakes since, recommended by well-meaning friends and family, but they just didn’t stack up.
All I knew of this famed Orange Almond Cake recipe, was that it came from the Women’s Weekly. Which number in the thousands! And then, a chance encounter. Was it the same fabled one I remember?
With champion-level patience I waited for the cake to cook, then cool. The first cut: it slides through the cake like slicing a cloud, making an enticing squidge sound. As the first slice is removed, a warm rush of orange-scent is released. The spoon effortlessly falls through the slice; the first mouthful dissolves away on the tongue. Oh my God, this is IT. This is “The One”. One Orange Almond Cake to rule them all….
ORANGE ALMOND CAKE RECIPE
- Use quality oranges. If they’re bitter, the cake will be bitter.
- NO shortcuts on the boiling oranges step! Boiling reduces the bitterness of the orange pith and softens the rind. Failing to do so will result in a bitter chunky cake, which is nasty ‘yo.
- Navel oranges don’t have pips, but other varieties do. Once boiled cut them open, check for pips and remove them!
- Watch the baking time carefully. Other bakers have reported variable baking times, ranging from 45-60 minutes. Keep a close eye from 35 minutes onwards and check with a skewer to see if it comes out clean.
- Use a springform pan, and let the cake cool in the upright position. Do not attempt to turn the cake out , because it’s a squidgy one and it will fall apart. A broken cake is a sad cake.
- Tins: I used a 22cm round springform tin, filled to around 2/3 – 3/4 full. If you’re making a smaller cake, stick to the 2/3 full rule and turn the leftover batter into cupcakes or something equally marvellous.
You Will Need:
480g Oranges (two navel oranges approximately)
220g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
6 large eggs
250g Almond Meal
Place whole unpeeled oranges in saucepan. Cover with water. Boil with the lid on for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid, fill with fresh water and boil for 1 hour. Trim the green ends, cut the oranges into quarters and check for pips. Place oranges into a food processor and pulverise them to a pulp. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Line a 22cm round springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius, or 160c if fan forced.
Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer on high speed until fluffy and pale, which should take 3-5 minutes (stop before ribbons form). Beat in the baking powder. Fold in the almond meal and orange pulp.
Pour into tin and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a skewer into the centre comes out clean. For me, at 30 minutes the top was getting nice and brown, so I covered it with aluminium foil to minimise burning. At 45 minutes, mine was shrinking away from the sides of the tin and passed the skewer test.
Allow cake to cool upright in the pan. Do not attempt to turn out. When cool, dust the top with icing sugar if desired.