blood orange cake

this was a happy coincidence - i saw a recipe on elana's pantry website a few days ago (yes, i know it seems that half of what i cook comes from there). then last night, while putting the living room blinds down for the evening, i noticed three blood oranges sitting in a bowl on the windowsill.

i guess using fruit for decorative purposes is a bit mad but sometimes i do put things in the lounge because i like looking at them. they invariably go off because the room is too warm. these were heading that way - they were beginning to look a bit shrivelled - which seemed a shame. blood oranges are delicious and their season is pretty short. fortunately, i remembered the cake recipe, and the whole thing was put together while waiting for the dinner to cook.

this is really an unsweetened version of those flourless orange cakes you can see in places like starbucks. it's the same principle: you boil the orange whole and then whizz it up in a blender, skin and all. i cut down the sweetness for this one - the original recipe uses about 3/4 of a cup of agave nectar and i just added a tiny squirt of honey. it is probably an acquired taste and it would not be sweet enough for most people. use agave by all means if you want. you can obviously use normal oranges - though i'd use two and not three as they are bigger.


3 blood oranges or two normal ones
2 cups almond flour
a squirt of honey (or 3/4 cup of agave nectar if you want a sweet cake)
a teaspoon of baking soda
4 eggs
40g dark chocolate

preheat the oven to 190C.

boil the oranges whole for about 1 1/2 hours or until tender. cool them a little, then whizz them in a food processor whole (minus the water in which they boiled but plus skin, pips, etc). if the mixture is really hot, let it cool down a little or you will scramble the eggs. next, add all the other ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. if it looks really wet and sloppy, add a little bit more flour.

pour into a greased and lined 9in cake tin and cook for 45-50 minutes. test with a skewer and if it's wet, cook a bit more. leave to cool in the tin but, while still hot, break the chocolate into pieces and plonk on top of the cake. the heat will melt it in 3-4 minutes and you will be able to spread a thin layer of chocolate all over the whole cake.


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