I came across this recipe on Pi's blog which she says is a recipe from Diana Henry's Crazy Water Pickled Lemons. As soon as I saw it I knew I would have to try it, the boiling up of the orange and then pureeing it was what intrigued me the most, also the fact that it has no butter or oil. It would suit the dairy free crowd (which isn't me but hey, just thinking of those who can't or don't!), it would also be easily adapted to be gluten free, the flour content could quite easily be substituted with some fine cornmeal or rice flour. With lots of ground almonds in it, it is not the cheapest to make, but it is ridiculously easy, with the finished product being dense and moist and wonderfully 'orangey'. I made it decidedly not dairy free by adding a cream cheese icing instead of the suggested orange flavoured cream, I just used 250g cream cheese, the rind and juice of an orange and 2c icing sugar, beat it all up and spread it on. We enjoyed a slice for dessert (and then a few the next day with a cup of tea!).
Middle Eastern Orange Cake with Marmalade and Orange Flower Cream
250g (9oz) Caster Sugar
55g (2oz) Plain Flour, Sifted
5ml (1tsp) Baking Powder
200g (7oz) freshly ground Almonds
Icing sugar for dusting
for the cream:
55g (2oz) Fine-shred Orange Marmalade
125g (4 ½ oz) Mascarpone Cheese
30ml (2 Tbs) Greek Yoghurt
Icing Sugar to taste
5ml (1 tsp) Orange Flower Water
Put the orange in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for an hour. Cut the orange in half, remove the pips, and purée the rest of the fruit in a food processor.
Grease a 20cm (8in) spring-form tin and line with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F) Gas Mark 4. Beat the eggs and sugar together until they’re pale and thick. Fold in the flour, baking powder, almonds and orange purée. Pour into the tin and bake in oven for about an hour, or until skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out to coolTo make the cream, melt the marmalade in a small pan. Let it cool slightly, but don’t let it set, then mix it with the mascarpone and yoghurt. Add icing sugar to taste and the orange flower water.
Sift icing sugar over the cake and serve with the marmalade cream.