Everyone loves the famous Orange Almond Cake, Claudia Roden’s recipe from her book A New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
It’s gluten and dairy free, and that is why in Australia it’s the staple of many cafes and restaurants, although I would hazard a guess that not many people would know of its origin! I started cooking this recipe many years ago and I still have the original Book of Middle Eastern Food, albeit well thumbed and food stained..
In this recipe I have changed the two main ingredients. I substituted mandarins for oranges and hazelnuts for almonds. I still follow the basic recipe, cooking the mandarins whole and blitzing them in the food processor. I also halved the ingredients to make a smaller cake – it’s still a decent size.
The result was a fragrant mandarin scented cake, that was very nutty – I encouraged the nuttiness by roasting the ground hazelnuts first.
For a version of the original, see here for this SBS recipe.
3 small mandarins, washed
150g ground hazelnuts
125 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
3 free-range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
Whole hazelnuts for decorating
Candied mandarin segments and peel for decorating*
Dark chocolate for drizzling
*To candy the mandarin segments and peel, make a sugar syrup by dissolving 3 tablespoons of sugar in 3 tablespoons of water, and bring to the boil. Put mandarin segments and finely sliced peel in the syrup and cook for about 5 minutes, then remove and drain on baking paper.