I've been a bit off the radar recently- Christmas has been super busy and the last few weeks have flown by so I apologise for the delay in posts! I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas filled with friends, family and of course delicious food. Ours is always a huge family affair with lots of food and traditional party games. Now that I've got a few days to relax between Christmas and New Year I'm finally sitting down to some new photography books and youtube tutorials to pick apart the features of my camera and brush up on some new tips! It's also time for some of my favourite cooking- when I've got all day to decide what to make, pick out the ingredients and cook at my own pace. This is a very different scene from the pre-Christmas rush when the kitchen was a bomb site and the oven constantly in use.
Now, I'm a big fan of Christmas pudding. My Grandma makes the BEST Christmas pudding ever from a recipe that's been handed down through the generations. Its a heavenly rich dark pudding filled with brandy-soaked fruits and treacle and served with brandy butter (90% brandy, 10% butter!)
However these rich desserts can become a bit too much after Christmas and it's nice to be presented with something sweet but a little lighter.
This spiced orange cake is flourless and light, made with ground almonds and orange puree. The spices still give it that warming Christmassy feel but it's not as rich as your traditional fruit cake. As it's made with ground almonds it's also gluten free as long as you use gluten free baking powder.
It's an adapted version of a Tom Kerridge recipe from his Christmas baking programme.
Ingredients: (for 2 medium sized cakes)
300g ground almonds
300g caster sugar
2tsp baking powder
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
7 free-range eggs
1tsp vanilla paste
1 dessert spoon runny honey
Put the unpeeled oranges into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Put a lid on and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1-2 hours until the orange skins are soft and the oranges' insides broken down.
Then drain the oranges and once cool enough to handle, cut them in half, remove the seeds and puree in a food processor until fine (including the skins.) Then weight out 450g of this orange puree and discard the rest.
Then preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (fan.)
Prepare a round cake tin by greasing and lining with baking paper. I used two 20cm round cake tins (depth 4cm) to make 2 medium sized cakes. (This amount of mixture will make 2 medium sized cakes.) I was giving one to my brother as fuel for a coach trip to Paris but you could also freeze the other one once baked for another occasion.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tins and scatter with flaked almonds. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. You may need to cover the top of the cakes after about 40 minutes with foil to prevent them from burning. Once baked remove the cakes from the tins and cool on a wire cooling rack.
Adapted from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/spiced_orange_cake_with_47262