I didn’t think you could make a cake that was gluten-free, dairy-free with no added oil and have it still taste great. I was proven wrong. Superlatively wrong.
Many people have watched Nigella on television purring seductively while she made a flourless clementine cake. I remember thinking what an odd cake, and filed it to the back of my mind. At the recent Auckland Food Show, the Food Hub stand was giving away oranges and recipe cards. This recipe was on the card, and I was intrigued enough to take a closer look. When I got an invite to a Lesley’s house for a food bloggers’ afternoon tea where there would be gluten-intolerant blogger in attendance, I gave decided to give this a chance.
This is a very moist cake, and is beautifully fragranced. The cake keeps well in the fridge for several days, and better still, the flavour actually improves the second or third day. It is one of the easiest recipes I have tried, though you need to start this recipe in plenty of time; the oranges take 2 hours (yes, you read that right) cooking to soften right through and remove the bitter oils. You will also need a food processor to finely blend the oranges.
2 navel oranges
250g blanched ground almonds
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
Juice of ½ orange
¼ cup of caster sugar
Cover the oranges with water, and boil for 2 hours. Remove from water, cool and cut into quarters. There should be no seeds in navel oranges, but check and make sure to be on the safe side, and remove any pips that you find.
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 20-inch springform tin.
Put the orange quarters in a food processor and process until smooth (this smells absolutely heavenly). Add in all the other ingredients and continue to mix until you get a homogenous mixture. (In my small food processor, I had to scrap the sides a couple of times).
Pour into the prepared tin, and bake for ~50 minutes until done. Check with a cake tester at 45 minutes, and if not done, put it in for another 5 minutes and test again.
While cake is baking, make the syrup. Warm the juice in the microwave for 20 seconds to help the sugar dissolve. Pour the syrup over the cake while it is still warm just out of the oven. Cool and serve on its own, or with yoghurt or ice-cream.