I almost didn’t take part this week but then I had an email from Tesco offering to pay for the ingredients if I was to bake for this weeks Great Bloggers Bake Off. I couldn’t say no to that and I thought it would push me well out of my comfort zone.
Alternative ingredient week always instills a small amount of fear in me. I’m the type of person that has a recipe and once I’ve tweaked it a little I stick to that recipe I don’t swap ingredients like flour or any of the other main ones. I’ve never made a gluten free cake so that was the first thing I looked for in my recipe books. Then I watched the show and thought I should be making a refined sugar free cake and I suddenly realised if I was going to push myself I’d make it as difficult as possible and make my bake gluten, (refined) sugar and dairy free.
After I’d decided to do this I had a tiny panic (huge huge panic!) That this cake would turn out like a pancake and taste horrendous. It didn’t turn out that way and I’m even thinking of making it again, this time with the sugar!
(I’ve put the amount of sugar you need instead of honey just in case)
Orange and Almond Cake
2 oranges (approx 280g in total), scrubbed and roughly chopped (with skin)
5 eggs, separated
100g honey (Alternatively use 200g caster sugar)
225g ground almonds
2 tbsp flaked almonds
•Put the chopped oranges in a small saucepan, discarding any pips. Add 1 tbsp water, then cover and cook gently until the oranges are soft and excess liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool.
•Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan 160°C, gas mark 4). Line the bottom and sides of a 23 cm (9 in) springform cake tin with baking parchment .
•Finely chop the oranges with a large knife or if your posher than me a food processor.
•Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks.
(If using sugar gradually whisk in half the caster sugar, then whisk for 1 minute.)
•Whisk the egg yolks with the honey (if using sugar whisk in the remaining sugar now) in another bowl for 2–3 minutes or until pale and thick, you can use the same whisks. Whisk in the finely chopped oranges, then carefully fold in the ground almonds, it will be thick and slightly dry looking.
•Stir in 3 spoonfuls of the whisked egg white to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon.
•Transfer the mix to the prepared tin and level the top. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, I used a lot more than 2 tbsp of flaked almonds because I like them.
•Bake for 50–55 minutes or until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check the cake after 20 minutes and again at 30 minutes, and cover lightly with foil if it is browning too quickly.
•Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out, remove the lining paper and t pop it on a serving plate.
•The cake can be kept in an airtight tin for up to 2 days.