This post was inspired by an insane craving I had for orange and almond cake. I made it for a small dinner party a few weeks ago and think it would be a delicious addition to an Easter celebration table. It is a gluten free cake, made with almond meal and coconut flour.
My second attempt at this cake was a little less successful. In an effort to fine tune the recipe I put too much orange puree in and it didn't cook through, so I would suggest using small to medium sized oranges when making your puree.
I have split this recipe up into 2 parts, the cake itself is very easy to make but if you like to get organised (as I do), there are parts you can do the night before, or earlier that morning to make life easier and the whole experience more enjoyable.
Gluten Free Orange & Almond Poppy Seed Cake
2 x round pan 18cm
4 navel oranges
2C almond meal
1/2C coconut flour
1 1/2C caster sugar
1/4 poppy seeds (extra for decorating)
1tsp gluten free baking soda
250g mascarpone cheese
1C icing sugar
Candied Orange for decorating the top (you will have extra so you can serve the left overs dipped in dark chocolate, or keep them in airtight container for later use). Thinly slice 1 orange. Add 2 cups of water and 1 cup sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the slices of orange, let this return to a boil then turn the heat on low and leave to simmer for 90 minutes. Place some baking paper on the surface to ensure your orange pieces stay immersed in the water. Line a tray with baking paper and carefully remove orange slices, set aside for minimum of 6 hours (overnight is ideal). I saved the left over syrup and added it to my cooled cake before icing.
Place 2 oranges in a saucepan, fill with water, making sure to cover the oranges. Bring this to a boil then turn heat down allowing them to simmer for 1 hour. Remove oranges, allow them to cool. Remove the peel of 1 orange and throw it away. Cut both oranges (one peeled one not) into quarters, remove all pips and puree them in a blender. Place puree in airtight container and store in fridge until ready to make the cake.
Step 1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Line the bottom of 2 cake pans.
Step 2. In a bowl beat the eggs with the caster sugar until thick, fold in your orange puree. Sift in your almond meal, coconut flour, GF baking soda and add poppy seeds. Mix together well. Pour mixture evenly into the 2 cake pans. Put in the oven and bake for 45 - 55 minutes, checking for the top to go golden brown.
Step 3. Remove the cakes from oven and let them cool in the tins for 20 minutes. Remove the cakes from the tins, turning them bottom side up on a wire rack. Leave them to cool down completely.
Step 4. To make the filling add the mascarpone cheese, 2/3C icing sugar and zest of final orange into a bowl and beat until smooth. Spread a thick layer to the centre of the (cooled) bottom layer of the cake. Stack the second cake layer on top. Neatly ice the outside of the cake with the leftover mascarpone cheese filling, making sure it's smooth.
Squeeze the juice from the last orange, add about 1/2 cup of icing sugar and beat together, add more icing sugar if you think it's too runny. Pour this on the top of the cake slowly (you will have extra so don't pour the entire mix as it will run down the cake and you don't want that). Add some of your favourite looking candied oranges and a sprinkling of additional poppy seeds.