Joan’s orange & almond cake
This is a pretty easy and deliciously moist cake which I made last weekend. Serve as an afternoon tea cake or as a dessert with a fresh orange and blueberry fruit salad and/or (if you eat dairy) a blob of natural Greek yoghurt.
For one 23cm round cake to serve 6-8
2 medium oranges – organic and unwaxed
3 eggs, separated
150g ground almonds
1 level tsp gluten-free, aluminium-free baking powder
Check out my “larder & shopping” section for where to buy unusual ingredients
1. Place the clean, whole and unpeeled oranges in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about one and a half hours or until soft, adding more water if necessary (you can do this in a pressure cooker in half the time – just half cover the fruit with water).
2. Drain the oranges and cut into quarters, discarding any major pips. Put the orange pieces, including the peel, in the food processor and blend to a pulp. Leave to cool.
3. Beat the egg yolks and the xylitol in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the orange pulp, almond and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then gently fold into the orange mixture.
4. Preheat the oven to 175C/160 fan/gas 4. Lightly oil and line a 23cm round loose-bottomed cake tin or rectangular loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
5. Bake for an hour, until golden and firm to the touch. Turn out carefully and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Why this recipe is better for you:
Foods cooked at over 120C are less good for you than foods cooked at low temperature. However this cake is still better for your body than most bakery goods which contain toxic refined oils, sugar and white flour. Because the cake contains protein from the almonds, it’s low GI. This means it won’t upset blood sugar levels and cause fluctuations in energy or mood or stress levels. Xylitol is a tooth-friendly and healthier alternative to sugar. Because non-organic oranges are covered in pesticides and chemical-containing preservative waxes, their skins contain harmful chemicals. Boiling the fruit and discarding this water should make the skins safer to eat. The ground almonds in this cake do not count towards your daily intake of healthy, raw omega 6 oils as they have been heated to a high temperature and lose their beneficial properties.