It probably wasn’t my smartest move to deem April as “nut month”. Why? My family is peanut butter obsessed, so you can guarantee that I have a few good recipes planned. However, it seems like all school-related testing has culminated to April and early May, and I’m going to (solemnly) have to take much of the time I had designated for baking and use it for studying. Or…better plan! I could saturate this post with SAT words! Readers will like that, right?!
So this recipe was actually supposed to be for last month (hence the orange), but it’s almond aspect makes it perfect to kick off April. My school was on spring break last week, and with no obligations, I desperately wanted to find time to bake. After scrupulously (thoroughly) scouring the web, I decided on this cake.
I must admonish (warn) you, the cake was slightly aberrant (deviating from expectations) from average cakes. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious. I don’t know though, the texture was pretty variable throughout. Normal consistancy around the rim, but a dense, almost too moist, center. Yet, it was still good enough for me to surreptitiously (sneakily) tip-toe downstairs to snag another slice.
Granted, we did manipulate the recipe a little. We substituted clementines for oranges, and used 3 eggs and 3 egg whites instead of 6 eggs. Without these changes, the cake probably would have turned out differently. Let me know if anyone has better luck with this recipe! And hopefully this post wasn’t too esoteric (hard to understand).
Note: If making this for Passover (as we did), you can eliminate the baking powder by beating the egg whites separately, and folding them into the batter at the end. You can also substitute matzo meal for flour when dusting the pan. Parchment paper is also acceptable.
Flourless Orange Almond Cake
adapted from Martha Rose Shulman
2 medium-size oranges
1 1/2 cup ground almonds
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Scrub the fruit well. Place in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 2 hours, checking every once in a while to make sure the water hasn’t boiled off too much. Drain and when cool enough to handle, cut the fruit in half carefully, and remove all of the seeds.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour, or line with parchment, a 9-1/2- or 10-inch springform pan.
3. Put the fruit, skin and all, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Measure out 1-1/4 cups.
4. Beat the eggs with the sugar and baking powder at medium-high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Add the ground almonds and mix well. Mix in the pulped orange at low speed, in two or three additions, beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Pour into the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour, until firm and a knife comes out clean. If the top begins to get too brown halfway through, cover loosely with foil.
Note: If making for Passover , if you want to eliminate the baking powder, beat the egg whites separately, and fold into the batter at the end.