I’m a bit late to the party on this one. Kiwi chef Peter Gordon’s boiled orange and almond cake has been floating around the interwebs for some time now. I only found out about it from my visit to Rex Bakery last year where I tasted it and knew immediately it was a winning recipe. Peter pours chocolate ganache over the original recipe which features in his book The Sugar Club but I prefer this cake plain.
Well, I say plain, it’s not plain – it’s amazing and best left unadulterated. I’ve tried boiled orange cakes before and found them bitter and not worth all the effort, but this recipe is different. It’s not only incredibly silky, moist, light and delicious but it also happens to be dairy and gluten free. A very simple list of ingredients makes this cake simple to make, but the faffing with the boiling and food processor makes it slightly time-consuming. But it’s worth it. I promise.
The only note I have for this recipe is that you should try and use old oranges. The riper they are, the less pith and bitterness they have. So buy a bag of oranges, and keep 3 aside for a week or so. And just because there’s no butter, don’t fool yourself into thinking this recipe is fat-free. Almond meal is high in fat, healthy fat sure, but nonetheless.
You could drizzle this cake with an orange blossom sugar syrup, giving it a little sheen on top and a little bit of extra juiciness, but it’s not essential.
Orange and Almond Cake Recipe
3 large oranges
250g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
OVEN at 170C
Put oranges in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil, then let simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes.
Take the oranges out and cut them in half to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove any seeds, cut into quarters and pop them in food processor with the sugar and blitz to a paste.
Add everything else and blitz together.
Pour into a baking-paper lined cake tin and bake at about 170C for about 40-50 minutes.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.