Friday 2 September 2011

:: Citrus Dreaming (GF)(DF) ::

Deliciously Moist Orange Cake (GF)(DF)
:: Megann's Kitchen ::

:: a slice of deliciously moist orange cake (gf) ::
One Spring, in my teenage years, I went through a phase of eating a lot of oranges at boarding school as it was all they had on offer in their fresh fruit box. It seemed that I constantly smelled like citrus peel which I am not sure is a good thing to others, but I certainly didn't mind! So nowadays when I smell the sweet scent of fresh oranges it takes me back to my youth of fun in the sun with good friends.

I still love oranges and just about anything to do with them. The farmers' market oranges are hard to resist. I love a slice of orange in a glass of chilled water & I certainly love the combination with chocolate! Any type of orange cake seems to be a favourite with me, and I have to say it is my number one afternoon tea selection.
This traditional & delicious, sweet, moist Orange Cake with almond meal I first discovered on SBS Food Safari, however I have since combined a few recipes together. It is light & fluffy considering it is flourless & super moist. This is both a Gluten Free & Kosher recipe (great for Passover), so I thought it would be a fantastic one to master & have on hand, also for the simple fact that it tastes incredible.

3 large seedless oranges (Naval), washed
6 eggs
1 ¼ cup caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
cups or 330g of almond meal

Place the oranges in a pot filled with cold water to cover them. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat & set your timer for 25 minutes. Drain off the oranges & refresh your water, setting your timer & repeating the process two more times.
Set your oranges aside to cool.
Preheat your oven 180°C (350°F). Pre-prepare & line a 22cm (9 inch) springform cake tin. Roughly chop your oranges removing the white pith in the centre (the "core" of your orange) as this may make your cake bitter, as well as any seeds. Blend in a food processor until a fine puree & measure out 1 1/3 cups or 450g of the orange puree.
In an electric mixer, beat your eggs until light & creamy then gradually add your caster sugar & baking powder. Continue to beat until thick & pale in colour. Gently fold in your almond meal & the orange puree with a metal spoon until well combined.
Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake for 50-60 mins or until cake tested clean.

:: removing the white pith centre  ::

:: preparing your boiled oranges- ready to puree ::

:: incredibly sweet orange puree ::

Kitchen Notes
:: I like to boil my oranges/citrus the day before. This gives the fruit adequate time to cool and I find the flavours infuse into the peel even more.
:: Some recipes have mentioned that you might have to cover the cake with foil after about 20 to 30 minutes to stop the top from over-browning.
:: When making Gluten Free recipes, double check your baking powder or anything additional to make sure that it is also wheat/gluten free.
:: I also DOUBLE the amount of oranges that I poach & puree - freezing a quantity in the fridge for a quick cake when I need one! The puree freezes well.
:: In the episode of SBS Food Safari, the cook explained that to make the cake "Kosher", hold the eggs up to the light & check for blood spots. For more information on Kosher Eggs, follow this link.

:: a beautiful orange mixture ::
:: poured into a prepared baking pan ::

Style: I like to keep aside some thinly sliced wedges of the boiled oranges dipped in heated apricot jam, then chilled in the fridge, for the top of the cake. These are rather delicious & have intense flavour & colour.
Serve: Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving (this cake is so moist that it absorbs rather quickly!) & serve with double cream.

Orange Chocolate Jaffa Cake Option

:: orange chocolate jaffa cake option ::

Style: I sometimes like to MIX IT UP by using different toppings! This topping isn't GF/DF because of the Ganache + Jaffas, but is OH SO DELICIOUS! I made a basic ganache recipe & poured it over the cake, topping it with crushed Jaffas around the edge. 

Dark Chocolate Ganache 
200g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
½ cup cream 
Melt together over a double boiler until smooth. Cool slightly & pour over cake.

:: yes, even in megann's kitchen we have our off days! ::
:: follow the below points so your cake doesn't sink in the middle ::

That sinking feeling
Don't fret at the following points, it really is an easy recipe! This is an egg based recipe, so there are a few pressure points that may cause the cake to dip in the middle, but don't despair, it still tastes divine! Just ensure that you follow the below basic instructions to cut down on errors (and the resulting above picture!).
:: Make sure that your oven has been pre-heated for at least 10 minutes.
:: Ensure that your egg mixture is adequately aerated.
:: After pouring your mixture into your tin, put it straight into the oven.
:: If my cake slightly "dips" in the centre (not like the volcanic crater I have in the above picture), I sometimes carefully invert it so the bottom becomes the top & sprinkle with icing sugar upon serving. This gives the cake more structure & your guests will be none the wiser!

:: flourless orange cupcake w/double cream ::

Kitchen Notes
:: Some of the best cakes make great cupcakes. I made these cupcakes from the above mixture baking in a preheated oven of 180°C (350°F) for 20 mins. This time I topped it with fresh double cream & a sugar flower & allowed my guests to eat it with a spoon. Divine!

:: dust with icing sugar just before serving ::

:: some beautiful citrus slices to garnish ::


  1. This looks so lovely! I am just about to check out your 'Roast chicken bliss' post - that looks amazing! xxx

  2. Thank you so much. This orange cake is divine... Oh, and so much to check out. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Megan for sharing this recipe! This cake is perfect and really delicious. I'm actually starting my blog and posted the recipe there. Hope you can visit it too. Thanks

  3. Looks delicious and I am planning to make this however am confused about measurements as I am in the US. For instance, you say "2 1/2 cups or 275 g of almond meal" and according to my conversions, 275 grams is equal to 1.2 cups.

    Can you help? Thank you. (I love many of your recipes though I hesitate when it comes to the conversions).

  4. Sorry about the delayed response, your message was hidden from me!!! You will find different products will have different weight per cup measurements. 1 cup of almond meal = approx 110 grams or 3.88 ounces. You will find a google converter on your computer if you type "grams conversion ounces". I hope this helps!

  5. Hello Megan, thanks for the recipe. What does "beat your eggs until light & creamy" really mean. I know the following, beat lightly, beat lightly till fluffy, soft peaks, stiff peaks. Where does Light & Creamy fall in? Thanks in advance...

    1. MORE DETAIL:: You will see in the above picture with the whisk, the final result. The egg & sugar have made a beautiful thickened "cream" like consistency, to which the almond meal and orange puree has been added and folded through. Generally, when baking a cake like this, you whisk the eggs to get some initial air bubbles through THEN gradually add sugar until it dissolves. The sugar gives it form and structure, as well as flavour, when baking. As it isn't egg whites, you won't get "peaks", more of a ribbon effect. It should look luscious, like a thickened custard. Helping????

    2. I feel better now. Thanks for the detailed explanation. I am going to try this cake the coming weekend. I will let you know how it goes. This cake has all my favorites in it; orange, moist, brown surface. Somehow if I can combine/blend in some chocolate, it would be awesome. Anyway, thanks so much for the recipe.

    3. Great - and good luck! As it is an egg based recipe, it will rise beautifully in the oven then come down a little. Don't lose heart, this is part of the rustic nature of this GF cake. No flour takes away a lot of the "walls". If you want slightly more structure, I use 2 cups almond meal & 1/2 cup plain flour. Also - DON'T OPEN THE OVEN while baking!!!
      CHOCOLATE :: I sometimes make a dark chocolate ganache then put it into a zip lock bag, snip off a small corner & drizzle rustically in lines all over the cake. It gives it a slight Choc Orange flavour. Still healthy too!

    4. :-) Thanks.
      Do you think this will turn out OK in a bundt pan?

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