zondag 2 mei 2010

Flourless Orange Cake

This week it was Queens'Day, a famous and much loved Dutch National Holiday. The whole country dresses in orange, eats orange treats, (drinks lots of beer and a dutch liqueur called 'oranjebitter'), has the day off and celebrates with large garage-sale-like-street markets, music everywhere and parties all over.
The 30st of april was the actual birthday of our former queen Juliana. And since her daughter Beatrix, who is our queen since 1980, has her birthday in january, she decided to keep the holiday on april 30, weather-wise...and why orange? The last name of our royal family is 'van Oranje', which means orange.
I had a coffee-date with 3 dutch girlfriends at our place when I realised that would be on Queens day. No better excuse to do some baking, ofcourse!

I opted for some cookies and the flourless orange cake. Orange both in color and in flavor! I made it before, to success, and it was about time I made it again. I consider it sort of healthy - no butter, no flour, but fruit and nuts inside :-)
The recipe is well tested and written upon, to name a few: Claudia Roden, Nigella Lawson and Clotilde Dusoulier.

Flourless Orange Cake

2 or 3 oranges, preferably organic (uncooked weight anything between 250-375 gr)
6 eggs
225 gr sugar
225 gr finely ground almonds/almond powder
1 teasp. baking powder

*if you can't find almond powder or almond meal use chopped or course ground almonds and use the foodprocessor to make them finer. Pulse in short blasts to avoid making almond butter, there's a lot of oil in almonds.
** if you use whole almonds and grind them yourself, make sure you use the ones without the little brown skin - my friend made the cake with home-ground-almonds-with-skin and it turned out a bit too bitter. Thanks for the tip, Ans!

- Put the washed oranges whole in a pan and cover with cold water. Boil for 1 1/2 hours until soft. (make sure the pan doesn't boil dry). I love the smell...! Drain and let them cool.
- preheat oven until 180 C
- grease (butter, oil or spray) a round (springform) caketin (any size between 8-10 inches, 20-25 cm is fine). Or use a rectangular cake/bread pan.
- When the oranges are cooled cut in quarters, remove the pips. Put whole oranges, skin and all, in a foodprocessor and whizz 'till pureed. (or use an immersion blender, or cut by hand very, very fine).
- mix the eggs with the sugar until light yellow and creamy.
- Add almond powder, baking powder and orange puree and mix well.
- pour into prepared cakepan and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 50-60 minues, until a skewer comes out clean. Keep an eye on the color and cover with foil if necessary.
- cool inside the tin!!
- remove the tin and decorate with icing sugar or with a glaze, frosting or icing

lemon icing
150 gr icing sugar
a few teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
food coloring if desired ( I used a few drops of red and a few drops of yellow to create a bright orange)

- sift the icing sugar and stirr into a not too runny paste by adding first some food coloring if and when using, and then some lemon juice. Make it more runny if you like it to drip off the sides of the cake or to be less visible, or as thick/spreadable as possible to do just the top.
- spread onto the fully cooled cake

This cake can be made with all sorts of citrusses. This time I used minneola's, it can be made with clementines, tangerines, mandarins, all lemons or a combination.

It tastes good at any time but is especially nice after one or two days, so ideal to bake in advance. The flavor improves, it really does. Today was day 4 and it's just getting better. Too bad we finished it...it's quite moist due to the almonds, so just keep it in a tin or covered at room temp.

the cookies were just simple butter-cut-cookie-dough, some funny cutters and lots of glazing and food coloring!