Thursday, September 2, 2010

Middle Eastern Orange Cake

A few weeks ago a work colleague brought in a middle eastern orange cake for morning tea. I’d never eaten this type of cake before but with the first bite I was sold.

It was delicious, so dense and moist with a really intense orange flavour.  The texture of the cake is almost creamy like too, reminiscent of a pudding. Another bonus is that it’s not a very sweet cake. It also does not contain any gluten or dairy.

It's a classic Passover dessert drawing on the Sephardic traditions of Morocco, the Mediterranean and the Middle East (where citrus was more available).

I found a recipe for this cake and it’s very easy to make but is quite time consuming.

2 large oranges (buy really nice oranges, as you use the whole orange – skin, flesh and all)
6 large eggs
250g ground almonds/almond meal
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C and grease cake tin with butter.
Wash the oranges and places in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 hours. Drain, allow the oranges to cool, then roughly chop, removing any pips.
Blend the oranges in a food processor, then add in the eggs and blend to a smooth consistency.
In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, caster sugar and baking powder. Gradually add in the orange-egg mixture and fold until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for around 45-50 minutes until the top is deep golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean, if the cake is still wet, bake a little longer. 
Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out onto a serving plate. 
Serve with thick cream.
This cake keeps well in the fridge.

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