Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Bizcocho de Naranja y Almendras (Orange & Almond Cake)

We are all very excited in the Smith household. Tomorrow, we are off to France for a couple of weeks and I have to confess that this orange cake is the result of using up the eggs and the remains of the fruit bowl before we depart. It has also turned out to be the perfect vehicle for the remaining orange syrup from the candied oranges; the orange blossom water and coriander seeds giving a nod towards the Moorish origins of this traditional Spanish cake.  Also, the real beauty of this cake is that it lasts an age and so it will make a perfect roadside picnic pudding on our journey south. Anyway, it may be a few days before my next post, but I will be back as soon as I can with stories and photos from France. We are spending our first week with my husband's parents who live in the beautiful Monts d'Or just outside Lyon, a francophile and food lover's dream. Quelle chance!

À bientôt,

Victoria x

For a 22 cm cake tin.
2 medium oranges
5 eggs (separated)
175 g. caster sugar
285 g. ground almonds
3 or 4 tbsp. orange syrup (optional)  

Put the oranges, skins and all, into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool. At this point, if you do not have any orange syrup you could reserve 300ml. of the orange water and add a handful of crushed coriander seeds, a drop of orange juice and 100 g. of sugar and boil them for about 10 minutes until syrupy.  

Once the oranges are cooled, preheat the oven to 180°C. Line and grease your cake tin. Put the cooled oranges into a food processor and blend into a smooth paste. 

Separate the 5 eggs. Beat the yolks with the caster sugar until smooth and pale. Then, beat in the orange paste and the ground almonds, put to one side. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Add a small amount of the egg white to the other ingredients and mix until combined. Then add the rest of the egg white, a little at a time, gently folding it into the mixture until all the egg white is combined. 

Smooth the cake batter into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour. If the top is browning too quickly, place a piece of baking parchment or tin foil on the top for the remainder of the baking time. The cake is done when you can skewer it and the skewer comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and warm the orange syrup. Poke the cake all over with a skewer and pour over the syrup and allow it to seep into the cake. Allow the cake to cool and dust with icing sugar. I enjoy it served with summer berries and Greek yoghurt, or plain and simple with a cup of tea.

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