I love blood oranges with their intense red coloring and full flavor, and although they are more readily available when we are living in Italy six months a year, from time to time I come across blood oranges here in the US as well. For the past month or two, Whole Foods had a large bin of blood oranges and not being able to help myself, I found myself buying a bag full each week. I realized this week however, that I still had a bunch of blood oranges sitting in my crisper that had been in there far too long, so I pulled them out to use in this easy, moist cake.
There are many recipes for orange flavored cakes where the entire orange is used such as my Cranberry Orange Polenta Cake or my
Olive Oil Orange Cake and I wanted to use the entire orange in this recipe too, along with ground almonds. This cake is very moist, has a great soft texture, and is bursting with orange flavor. This cake also has an optional orange topping made from cooking down chopped oranges, similar to making marmalade, which gives the cake even more of an intense flavor. For a simpler version however, you could skip the topping and instead top the cake with some powdered sugar after is has been baked and cooled to room temperature. Certainly if blood oranges are not available in your area, regular navel oranges could be used instead. To make your own almond meal, simply place blanched whole almonds into a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 6 Medium Blood Oranges (Or Navel Oranges)
- 1 3/4 Cups Almond Meal or Almond Flour
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 6 Large Eggs
- 2 Cups Sugar
- Place the whole, unpeeled oranges into a large saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove the oranges from the water and allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly grease and flour a 9-inch spring-form pan.
- Once cooled, cut the oranges into halves, discarding any seeds.
- Place 7 orange halves into a food processor and pulse until pureed with small pieces still visible.
- Measure out 3 cups of the orange puree and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the almond meal, flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs with one cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the orange puree and stir into the egg mixture, then stir in the flour mixture just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, or until cooked through.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the topping by chopping the remaining orange halves into small pieces.
- Add the remaining cup of sugar along with 3/4 cup of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Stir well to dissolve the sugar, then add the chopped oranges.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or until thickened.
- Use a wand mixer to blend half the orange mixture, then set aside to cool.
- Once the cake has cooled, turn it onto a cake platter and spoon the topping mixture over the cake, leaving a 1 inch border of cake exposed.
- Cut into wedges and serve.