I love the classic combo of orange and almond – borrowing from the concept of an upside-down cake with this recipe
I had an entire box of blood oranges to work through, so have been dreaming up all sorts of recipes!
Vovotelo, a local Cape Town based restaurant used to make an absolutely moreish orange and almond cake. They have since closed down, but I am still determined to create a similar cake one day.
The base of this recipe was adapated from Sweet, by Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. By now, you would know that is my baking bible and I always look to that for inspiration.
I have replaced the lemon in the original recipe with orange, and have add an orange slice on the base of the cake, so when turned over, adds a bit of flair. I decided to take it a step further and add some flaked almonds around the edges of the cake. Using the marmalade imparts a slightly bitter taste, which provides a nice balance to an otherwise sweet cake.
BLOOD ORANGES BASE
- 60ml water
- 100g sugar
- 1 – 2 medium blood oranges
- Grease a 12 cup cupcake tin and line the bottom of each cup with a disc of baking paper, covering just the base of the cup. Set aside.
- To make the syrup, add the sugar and the water to a microwave safe bowl and heat in around 30 second bursts.
- Give it a stir now and then to make sure the sugar completely dissolved into the water.
- The syrup should be slightly thickened, once all the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool and thicken further.
- Thinly slice your blood oranges into rounds. I find this easiest to do with a sharp serrated knife. Slice off the skin of the oranges to remove the bitterness.
- Take each slice, and place it onto the base of each cupcake tin. If it is too big to fit onto the base, make a slit from the middle of the slice to the end, such that you can manipulate the slice to fit the base of the cupcake tin.
- Pour the syrup into each of the cups, until just covering each orange slice, and set aside.
BLOOD ORANGE AND ALMOND TEA CAKES (MAKES 12)
- 180g salted butter
- 160g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 4 jumbo eggs, room temperature
- 180g ground almonds
- 45g cake flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8tsp salt
- 60ml blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 4 Tablespoons orange marmalade
- 100g flaked almonds.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Place the 100g of flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast until golden. This should take between 4 – 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, as it can burn.
- Cream the butter, sugar and orange zest, until pale and fluffy. This should take around 4 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time. Wait until the one egg is fully incorporated until you add the next one. Do not worry if the mixture curdles.
- Fold in the almond flour, flour, baking powder and salt.
- Finally add the orange juice and two tablespoons of the marmalade.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the edges of the cake are golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the tin for an hour, before turning them out. Then let them cool to room temperature.
- When cool, add a teaspoon of water to the marmalade and heat it for about 10 seconds in the microwave. Give it a stir. This helps to thin the marmalade.
- Brush the marmalade around the side of the cakes and then stick the flaked almonds to the sides, using the marmalade as glue.