What do you do with leftover oranges from Chinese New Year? Bake cake, of course! This gluten-free, dairy-free orange and almond cake recipe is adapted from Food52, which in turn, took it from Middle Eastern cookbook author Claudia Roden.
The recipe is amazing. It only requires 5 major ingredients, eggs, oranges, sugar, baking powder, and ground almond (you can get this at “baking section” of any supermarkets). Because it’s half cake, half pudding, it is guaranteed to be moist, and you don’t have to worry about it not rising. It’s healthy, no carbs, and lots of fibre from rind. And it’s so simple anyone can do it; you don’t need to know any baking techniques!
By the way, Food52’s cookbook, Genius Recipes, is a fantastic cookbook. The recipes are simple for home cooks like us. Ain’t nobody got time for long, complicated recipes. And each recipe comes with illustrations, so you know exactly what how the food will turn out in the end. The writing is smart, informative, and witty. I urge everyone to borrow or buy it.
2 large oranges
6 large eggs
2 cups plus 2 tbsp (225g) ground almonds
1 cup plus 1 tbsp (225g) sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Butter (or olive oil for dairy-free)
Flour (or ground almond for gluten-free)
1. Wash the oranges and boil them whole (unpeeled) for 2 hours. The boiling removes bitterness from the rind, leaving the pith creamy and soft. Let them cool, cut open, and remove seeds. Puree them in a blender. Note: rind gives the cake a slight bitterness, which adds a complexity. It depends on how much you want the cake to be bitter. I like to puree one orange with rind, and one peeled orange; Food52 just purees both oranges whole. But you should at least grind some rind to give texture and fibre.
2. Preheat oven to 190°C. Butter and flour a cake pan. My pan is 8 inches by 3. (If you’re going gluten-free, diary-free, use oil and ground almonds.)
3. Beat eggs. Add ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, orange puree, pinch of salt, and mix throughly. Pour into cake pan and bake for 1 hour. At the halfway mark, you may want to cover the top with aluminum foil to prevent the top from being burnt. If it’s still very wet, leave it in the oven for a little while more. Don’t worry if the cake is flat or wet. It is supposed to be half cake, half pudding.
4. When cake is cooled, serve with cream if desired. Enjoy!
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.