Almond and Orange Cake [Dairy free, Gluten free, Grains free, Paleo Refined Sugars free]
I love that many of my food makes have a story to tell and this one is no different, only, it is based on a recent happening 🙂
About 2 weeks ago I visited a popular in-store eatery for coffee. As I passed the cake stand, a frosted cake with a “Gluten free” label caught my attention (a biggie for me as I NEVER look at cake with the intention of having some!) enough to stop me in my tracks and have me ogle it! That the cake was bright orange made me think it was a carrot cake, I was semi-correct, as it turned out it was a carrot and orange cake, with creamed cheese topping (yes, all dairy!) – a very odd combination in my opinion. However, I decided to try a slice.
Being refined sugar free for over 25 years, makes me very particular with regard to sugar in foods, especially confectionery foods. In this instance I didn’t follow through with my usual inquiry into the ingredients of the cake, and went on to order a slice of that cake. Once the cake and coffee made its’ way to our table, my surprised coffee mate glared at me in horror-shock that I’d actually ordered cake, gluten free or not, it was indeed a surprise to her. I went on to spoon the cake, with her still glaring at me. As I tasted the first spoonful, I’m sure she saw the horror in my face…the gluten free cake was sugar laden! Needless to say, I didn’t continue with eating it…sugar and I don’t gel very well… although that cake tasting session was a most expensive one, it also turned out to be most informative and inspiring too 🙂
Anyway, I engaged the waiter about the ingredients (besides the sugar) in the cake and he willingly mentioned most of them. Armed with that information, I set out to find a cake recipe that contained orange and adapted it for this bake. It turned out smashingly scrumptious on my first attempt and a week later, I tweaked it even more with less eggs (I’m put off by the number of eggs used in some gluten free recipes containing coconut flour) and included coconut milk to gauge the difference in both cakes.
While the 5 eggs version worked well to deliver a moist and dense cake (as most nut flour based cakes are), I feel that this version worked better for me, and delivered similar same moistness and texture as the first make, I will include both versions in this recipe. Notably, the cake in the eatery was refrigerated,and served cold, and both my makes of this cake are best eaten cold. I used a raw honey and fresh lime infused coconut cream for this make, the previous make, for a relative, saw whipped fresh cream, topped with berries, kiwi fruit and raw nuts, which I understand, was delectable.
While this is a very quick preparation for the cake make, the fresh oranges used in this recipe take up the most time. They need to be boiled first, which takes about 2 hours in cooking time and at least an hour in cooling time. Overnight preparation of the oranges is advisable for ease of making this cake. What worked for the early riser in me, is to put the oranges on to boil first thing, at around 5am and I progressed with other chores – by 8am, the cake was baking in the oven. Sweet oranges are necessary for this bake, and the dark orange skinned Navel and the Valencia orange worked for me.
The easy to follow recipe with picture steps make this a winning make, less or more eggs, per your liking works well in the refreshing citrus and almond flour blend.
2 large, ripe oranges, skin on
5 large eggs, room temperature OR 3 large eggs + 3 tblsp sugar free coconut milk
½ – ¾ cup raw honey (amount determined by your level of sweetness required)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups almond flour
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp cream of tartar
Optional: ½ tsp ginger powder OR 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
For the topping
½-1 cup whipped coconut cream with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and / or a drop or two of vanilla extract (refrigerate the coconut cream overnight, use the thickened cream by scooping carefully without incorporating the coconut water, chill the glass dish being used before whipping)
Toasted almond and coconut flakes
Optional: Fresh fruit and / or raw cacao nibs
- In a medium sized pot, add water to three-quarters full level and bring to a rapid stove-top boil. Add in the oranges, lower the heat to enable the oranges to simmer for two hours. You may need to top up with boiling water to ensure the oranges are covered for the cooking process.
- After two hours, the oranges are ready to be removed from the pot. Remove by draining off the water, and set them aside to cool.
- Once fully cooled, slice and chop them into pieces, discarding the seeds and stem tops.
- Preheat a conventional oven to 180° celsius. Grease a springform cake tin with coconut oil, you may line the base with baking paper.
- Add the chopped oranges into a food processor and pulse for about 2 minute until the oranges have been reduced to a thick pulp.
- Add in the eggs and all the wet ingredients and pulse until they are well incorporated.
- Now add in the dry ingredients and blend to incorporate the flour mix, resulting in a thick, well combined cake batter.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- You may need to bake it for a further 10 minutes – the skewer / tooth pick test, inserted into the middle of the cake and dry when removed, will render the cake fully baked. You will note that the cake rises while it is baking and after baking, it settles in uniform flatness – noting that nut flours are dense.
- Remove the cake tin from the oven and allow it to cool well before removing and placing onto a wire rack to cook further.
- Once cold to the touch, add the coconut cream topping and garnish as desired.
- Refrigerate this cake and eat at chilled temperature for maximum taste benefits and enjoyment.
Original Recipe Credits: Women’s Health Naturally