Sarah and I were watching Laura Calder’s “French Food at Home” show last weekend and she made this as part of her “French Africa” episode. There are very few ingredients and it looked yummy, so Sarah wanted to make it. She and Emma helped me in the kitchen today.
This deliciously moist cake really has just four ingredients: oranges, eggs, sugar, and almonds. Three out of the four are wonderfully healthy. The eggs and almond meal give you some protein and allow you to make a light flourless cake. The oranges provide an intense taste, sweetness, and some Vitamin C. Sugar… well, it is sugar. I used a less refined version, but it is still sugar. Based on 12 servings, each piece will have 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of sugar in it. Just plan on it being your treat for the day.
I used packaged almond flour, but you could always just grind up some raw unsalted almonds in your food processor instead. The reason I specify organic oranges it that you are using the zest and you don’t want there to be pesticides on the skin.
The girls described this cake as: juicy, sweet, orangey, tangy and yummy.
Variation on Laura Calder’s recipe
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided, (3/4 cup goes in cake & 1/2 cup in the syrup)
- 3 ORGANIC oranges, separate zest and juice (FYI, my 3 oranges yielded 1 cup juice)
- 1 1/2 cups ground almonds AKA almond meal
- 1 Tbsp orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, optional (I used peach schnapps, what I had in the cabinet)
- Candied orange zest or rind, optional for garnish (I pulled a few bits of orange rind out of some orange marmalade)
- Whipped cream, optional for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment a 9-to-10-inch springform pan.
- Separate the eggs into two bowls. Beat the egg yolks with 3/4 cups of the sugar, and the orange zest until bright yellow. Then, stir in the ground almonds.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Stir a few spoonfuls of whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the rest, gently. Keep it light and fluffy.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until set, about 40-45 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Heat the orange juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the optional liqueur.
- When the cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and spoon the syrup evenly over the cake, letting the syrup soak in as you go; it will absorb all of it.
- Let cool, then unmold onto a serving platter. Serve the cake with candied orange zest on top and whipped cream on the side.