Whole orange cake
Deceptively simple and totally delicious. Photo- Elena Mayne/Shutterstock
This is from Linda’s go-to collection, a dead-easy cake that she makes in triple quantities. One cake is eaten fresh and the other two go into the freezer for entertaining emergencies.
Claudia Roden launched this cake to the world in her classic cookbook ‘A New Book of Middle Eastern Food’. It was originally a Jewish treat, baked during Passover, but now versions of it are seen in kitchens and cafes all over as chefs look for gluten-free goodies. It is fabulously adaptable and can be made with any citrus. Mandarins are especially good, but be aware that if you use tart fruit, like limes, lemons or cumquats, you’ll need to increase the sugar. You can also add spice if you like. Try powdered ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and a twist of black pepper for a richly scented mid-winter treat. It also works as a jaffa dessert – cook the mixture in large muffin tins for 20 minutes, then turn out and serve with hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
What you need:
2 oranges, around 375g of fruit
225 g sugar
250 g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Zest and juice of 1 orange
¾ cup caster sugar
What to do:
Put the oranges in cold water and bring to the boil. Boil until squishy, about 1 and a half hours. Drain, rinse under cold water, and let cool a little.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Chop the oranges and remove any seeds.
Put the oranges into the food processor and blitz. Add the other ingredients and mix to combine.
Pour into a prepared tin and bake for an hour. If the top is getting too done, cover it with foil after about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the orange glaze.
Add the rind to a small pan of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain, then return to the pan with orange juice and sugar. Cook over a low heat for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens.
Cool the cake on a rack, in the tin, for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate, and pour the glaze over.