Sicilian Citrus Almond Cake
November December 2013
From Janet Webb, owner, J. Webb Wine Merchant
Decadent to me is many things... Fantastic flavours, ease to create, memorable to my guests, and something that those with dietary issues can eat.
This recipe is gluten free, and dairy free, something that is important to me with a Mom that has these concerns. I have had so many rave reviews on this. It’s also adaptable... the oranges can be substituted with lemons or clementines – 2 regular oranges is 3 clementines or 4 to 5 lemons. With lemons, an additional bit of sugar may be needed – I taste the batter to decide. For those who don’t like orange blossom water, it can be omitted. This cake is dense, rich and totally satisfying. It freezes well too. How’s that for decadent?
1-1/2 c. superfine (berry) sugar
3 c. almond meal
1 t. baking powder
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cardamom
mascarpone, crème fraîche or whipped cream, to serve
Orange blossom syrup
1/2 c. superfine (berry) sugar
1/4 c. water
1 t. orange blossom water (at specialty food and Middle Eastern stores)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8-inch round springform pan and line the base with baking paper.
Place the oranges, whole and unpeeled, in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain. Return to the saucepan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook for a further 15 minutes. Drain and repeat once more, until the oranges are very tender. Drain. Coarsely chop and discard any pips.
Place the oranges in a food processor; process until smooth. Use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Add the oranges, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and cardamom and gently fold until just combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in its pan on a rack.
To make the syrup, use a zester to remove the rind from the orange, then juice the orange. Place the juice, sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens slightly. Remove from the heat. Add the orange blossom water and orange zest. Set aside to cool.
To serve the cake, drizzle it with syrup, cut it into wedges and serve it with mascarpone, crème fraîche or whipped cream. Serves 8.