Blood Orange Almond Cake (Gluten free!)

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You have no idea how long I have been waiting for this day to come.

I sound ridiculous but hey, we all lead busy lives and sometimes it takes a bit more effort to make a dream come true! #crazytalk

I thought I better hurry and get my game on before the blood orange season is over. These babies already aren’t as bloody as I’d have like them to be but oh well.

When I think of citrus cakes, I also think of how disappointing they can be when the flavour is lacking. All you end up tasting is butter and sugar. Perhaps an occassional surprise of zesty goodness but I always find myself disappointed and bored.

Thanks to YouTube I found a video recipe to make an orange cake just using 4 ingredients (I know right?!) – oranges, eggs, sugar and ground almonds. How amazing is that. It’s like one of those ‘2 Ingredient Mug-Cake’ madness.

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I confess. One reason why I put off making this cake was the fact that I had to boil oranges and then puree them. As you probably know I am terribly lazy. Everything has to be quick and easy but sometimes I do put in some effort 😉 I found out boiling for an hour is sufficient and I was a bit worried my cheap hand blender wouldn’t make the puree smooth enough but hey, I found out today it can. Oh yeah.

Oh I must add. Talking about effort I bothered to candy my orange slices. And no I did not use a mandolin. Just my hands and a knife. Yes.

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Once you’re done with all the boiling and creating lots of water vapour in your flat, everything goes pretty quickly!

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I learnt another thing today as well: if you use one of those dark grey cake tins, greasing may not be necessary.

I know I probably sound like an idiot right now but I always grease my tins just to avoid sticking. But today I forgot and so I could only hope. And it came out fine, just needed to run a knife along the side to loosen it. No casualties.

So enough of me blabbering. Here’s the real deal.

Ingredients
2 blood oranges (small-ish medium sized ones)
3 eggs
175g sugar
300g ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

If making the candied peel for an upside-down cake,
2 oranges sliced into ~0.5cm slices
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Directions
1. Get a pot of water boiling and pop the 2 oranges in. Boil for an hour then drain off the water and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring roughly 2 cups of water to the boil. Add the orange slices and boil for 10 mins. Drain and discard the water. Heat another cup of water and the sugar and bring to the boil. Add the orange slices and boil until the rinds become slightly translucent, ~15-20 mins. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.  
Note: This is not exactly the right method for making candied peel but I didn’t want all the pulp to boil away that I’m left with circles of rind. Plus, if it works why not cut down working time!
3. Keep the water and sugar mixture boiling until slightly thicker and syrupy. Set aside to cool. By now your oranges should be cool enough to handle. Cut and remove any seeds then blend till smooth. 

4. Prepare an 8″ tin and line the base with parchment. Arrange the orange slices whatever way you wish and brush on some syrup. Preheat oven to 170C.
5. In a bowl, whisk almonds, baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and frothy. Add orange puree, whisking quickly to combine. Then finally fold in the ground almond mixture until just combined. 
6. Bake for 45-50 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin on a rack before removing and flipping!

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I really love how cakes using purely ground almonds always turn out nice and flat.

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(Clearly you can tell I managed to get daylight in my flat today)

The cake turned out very, very moist but I’m pretty sure it’s not underbaked. That aside, it’s literally orange, orange, orange! I’m never going back to that zest and juice crap anymore! Real pleased with the candying – the rinds are actually edible and the slight bitterness complements the sweetness of the cake :’) And another amazing thing – FAT FREE.

So from this,
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to this!

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*You can omit baking powder by separating the eggs into yolks and white: beat yolks with sugar and then add the orange puree. Beat the whites till you get soft peaks and then fold in, followed by the ground almonds. 

Happy Monday everyone!

 

 

 

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