This is a melt-in-the-mouth love at first bite squidgy orange and almond cake unlike any other. Flourless too, which we like, what with every other person being gluten intolerant. Such a sweet aroma when it emerges from the oven and it slices like a dream. Also works as a dessert, with ice cream or cream.
To prepare the cake tin:
2 tablespoons olive oil
75g flaked almonds, chopped
4 large navel oranges
50ml light, fruity olive oil
5 free range eggs, separated
200g caster sugar
225g ground almonds, sifted
50g flaked almonds, toasted
a little icing sugar
1 Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 25cm springform cake tin with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle the base and sides with the chopped flaked almonds.
2 Grate the zest from the oranges and set aside. Peel the oranges and chop them over a plate to catch any juice. Put the chopped oranges and their juice in a small pan and simmer gently until the oranges are soft and excess liquid has evaporated; they need to be quite dry. Leave to cool, then place in a blender with the olive oil and blend until smooth.
3 Put the egg whites in a large, grease-free bowl with half the caster sugar and whisk with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and thick. Fold the puréed oranges and the orange zest into the egg yolk mixture using a large metal spoon, then gently fold in the ground almonds. Fold in a third of the egg whites, taking care not to lose any volume. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
4 Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and sprinkle with any remaining flaked almonds. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with the toasted flaked almonds and dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or cold.
*Taken from 80 Cakes from Around the World by Claire Clark (£20, Absolute Press)
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