This delicious moist orange cake come pudding recipe has been adopted as a family favourite and is adapted from The book of Jewish food by the brilliant Claudia Roden.
I love the way the beetroot naturally dyes the cake mixture to a rosy pink, but if you don’t like the idea of this or you just don’t like beetroot leave it out. You can play around with the flavour of the herbs, replacing the lemon thyme for finely chopped rosemary (1 heaped tablespoon) . Or if you haven’t got any fresh herbs to hand then the finely grated zest of a lemon or lime would do nicely.
- 6 medium sized oranges (about 160g each)
- 4 medium free range eggs, beaten
- 250g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 250g ground almonds
- 1 medium beetroot, coarsely grated
- 2 heaped tbsp lemon thyme leaves (optional)
- small handful of flaked almonds, dry fried
- a little elder flower cordial
- Preheat the oven to 180 ℃ /gas mark 4
- Line the base (see notes) and lightly oil the baking parchment covered base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin.
- Put two of the oranges into a pan and cover with water, boil for 1 to 11/2 hours until soft. Allow to cool.
- Cut the skins off the remaining oranges and slice the fruit.
- Add the sugar,ground almonds,baking powder into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Cut the boiled oranges in half and take out the pips. Put the orange halves into a food processor and blitz to a puree.
- Add the orange puree, grated beetroot, beaten eggs and lemon thyme leaves to the dry ingredients and stir again well to combine.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and top with the orange slices.
- Bake in the preheated oven on a middle shelf for 1 hour. Check the cake after 45 minutes and if browning quickly, place a circle of baking parchment on the top for the remaining 15 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out.
- When ready to serve sprinkle over the dry fried slithered almonds and drizzle over some elder flower cordial.
Boiling up the oranges fills the kitchen with that familiar seasonal scent of marmalade making…. delicious…
Once tasted you will want to make this cake again and again, so a good tip is to boil up some extra oranges,puree and put them in the freezer for another day. Then just take them out the freezer to defrost the night before you want to make the cake.
The boiled oranges are aromatic, juicy, soft and succulent, making this cake wonderfully moist.
Adding the pureed oranges and grated beetroot to the mix,vibrant colours and flavours.
Lemon thyme ( T.x citriodorus ) whose thyme flavour is enhanced by lemony overtones is a great herb to grow in the garden. Like the common garden thyme (Thymus vulgarise) it prefers to be planted in well drained soil and in a sheltered sunny spot. It also does well in pots, just don’t over water it. Its little leaves are delicious when added to a homemade mayonnaise, salad dressings, salads, tarts, soups, herb butters etc and because of its lemony flavour works really well in sweet dishes like sponges, pastry, custards, jams, jellies, lemonade, fruit compotes and fresh fruit salads.
Two little tips I learnt on a cookery demonstration by Honey&Co the other week.. firstly the best way to line a loose bottomed cake tin. Turn the base over (the opposite way to how you would normally clip it into place, you want the ridge facing downwards) then fold the baking parchment tightly around the flat circular base and clip into place. And secondly always turn the cake tin halfway through the baking time for an even cook.
Cartwheels of juicy orange.
So if you want a delicious cake ( gluten free) to serve up with a cuppa or as a perfect pudding with a dollop of thick yoghurt/ cream/creme fraiche and maybe a seasonal fruit compote or fresh berries on the side then this is the one to bake.
Thanks for calling by the blog today, you can also find me and some extra recipes on Instagram. Check out the elderflower cordial and vinegar recipes now up on IG before they get posted on the blog later this week….