Sautéed not Stirred

Oranges and Lemons

posted by Pallu Newatia on August 22nd, 2020

Almond and Orange Cake

I get attracted to Oranges and Lemons and most citrus like a moth to a flame. Though I like to use citrus in both savoury and sweet dishes, the combination of citrus and sweet is absolutely divine and unbeatable.

I have many versions of lemon and orange cakes, cookies, pies and tarts in my arsenal but am still always on the lookout for more, so when I caught a glimpse of this Orange Almond cake, it immediately caught my fancy. Almonds being my second favourite component to cook with. They lend themselves beautifully to most accompanying flavours and result in an amazingly moist and crumbly texture which can never be achieved with plain flour. So this was combining 2 of my favourite ingredients, it had to be heavenly and it had to be given a shot.

The recipe is by Maureen Simpson and was shared by Maeve O'Meara, when these two names come together, you know you've hit gold!!

I've added my two bits to it and dare say the final product was absolutely and totally heavenly. 

I wasn't sure this would be going up on the blog, so did not take the pictures during the process, my apologies for that, will try and walk you through it as best as I can.

And if you want to avoid my rambling, you can scroll straight down for the recipe.
So here goes.
As always, make sure all your ingredient are at room temperature.

Besides keeping all the ingredients ready, its important to prep a few things before starting off with the actual mixing process.

The first among them of course, is preheating the oven to 180˚C.

The next is greasing your baking tin, normally I would not pay much attention to this and mechanically run a used butter wrapper all over the tin, but here, you got to be careful and make sure all the nooks and crannies are well greased. You could also use one of the butter spray cans available in the market. I simply have a mind block towards them as I feel they give out this extremely syntheticy flavour, so I avoid them.

Next, you need to give the pan a coating of flour, the best way to do this is to dump a spoonful of flour in the greased tin and then move the tin in a circular fashion while gently tapping it so that the flour adheres to the butter on the tin. Once you feel the tin is well coated, turn it upside down and give it a gentle but firm whack at the edge of your sink (so that you don't have to clean the cloudy mess) all the excess flour will fall off.

Or you can simply mix 1 tsp butter and 1/2 tsp flour and coat the pan with this mixture, but its important to have this coating as this is what gives this cake the beautiful golden crust.

I have used a 7 cup capacity bundt pan here, (you can also use a 22 x 8 cm ring tin) you need to make sure you get the butter and flour in all the niches. It works best to bake this cake in a ring tin so that the heat is distributed evenly. I haven't tried it in a regular tin yet, if using a regular cake tin, you might have to adjust the cooking time slightly to make sure the centre is cooked well too.

While making all orange cakes, the most cumbersome job I feel, is getting the rind off the fruit, while making sure no pith is grated off, or else the entire blissful flavour of the rind goes right out of the window. You can either use a microplane, being careful to grate only the rind, or use a peeler to get strips of the rind off and then chop it super fine. I like to use a peeler.

Once you have removed the rind of an orange, you can go ahead and juice it.
Weigh out all your ingredients.

Now that you have your Mise en place, you can begin to beat your butter and sugar till it gets light and fluffy. If your kitchen is warm (mine is) you need to be careful not to over beat the butter, because after a point, instead of turning fluffy the butter might begin to melt and create a soupy mess rather than a creamy mixture.
Add the rind, then start adding the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Mix the flours with the Almond meal and start adding it in batches to your butter sugar mixture, alternating with the orange juice, do not over work the batter at this stage.  Once you are done with all the flour and the juice, its just a matter of tipping it all into the greased and floured tin and placing it in the oven to bake. (other details in recipe below).

I have a good mind to try the same recipe with lemons as well, am confident that it will turn out as delicious. Will keep you posted.


For Coating:
Butter: 1 tsp
Flour: 1/2 tsp

For the cake:
Butter: 185 gms
Caster Sugar: 150 gms
Rind of 1 orange: finely chopped or grated
Eggs: 3
Almond Meal: 125 gms
Self Raising flour: 94 gms (sifted)
All Purpose Flour: 31 gms (sifted)
Orange Juice: ½ cup
For soaking:
Orange Juice: ½ cup 
Icing Sugar: 4 tbsp
1.        Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease and flour a fluted Bundt Cake tin.
2.        Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
3.        Add the orange rind, mix, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
4.        Add the Almond meal, mix, add the sifted flours alternating with the orange juice.
5.        Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin, level and bake in oven for 40 -45 minutes or till a skewer comes clean when inserted.
6.        Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
7.        Mix the Icing sugar with the ½ cup of orange juice and pour half of it all over the surface of the cake.
8.        Remove from cake tin by turning it upside down on a platter.
9.        Soak the exposed surface with the remaining orange juice.
10.    This cake will keep moist for 5-6 days.

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