This recipe is based on the now famous orange almond cake of Claudia Roden, from A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968).
I have cooked this cake many, many times over the years and made several variations. This version uses blood oranges as I had some left over from jam making.
2 blood oranges
4 large free range eggs
1 cup sugar
200 gms ground almonds
1-2 tsps baking powder
6 tbs sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Enough icing sugar to make a lemon drizzle
Cook the oranges whole by boiling in a saucepan, with a lid, with enough water to cover, until the oranges are soft (somewhere between 1-1/2 hours).
Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Process in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and sugar, process again. Add ground almonds and baking powder and pulse to mix. The mixture will be quite loose, if too liquid, you can add more ground almonds.
Grease a 22cm springform tin if you want a flatter cake, or a grease a 20cm tin for a slightly higher cake.
Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake in a slow oven (150 degrees C fan-forced, 170 degrees C non fan-forced) for about an hour or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. You can cover the top of the cake with foil if it is browning too quickly.
Remove from the oven to cool to room temperature.
Make the candied orange in the following way:
Cut the orange into fine slices, removing the flesh and juice , leaving only the skin.
Place into a saucepan of water, and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat and drain the rind. Do this twice more.
Finally make sugar syrup with the sugar and 1/2 cup of water. When the sugar is dissolved, place the orange rind into the syrup and cook for 10 minutes or until the syrup is reduced and thickened.
Remove the rind and place on baking paper on a baking sheet making sure the pieces do not touch.
Dry in very low oven for 1-2 hours until the pieces are no longer “wet”.
Store in an airtight jar in caster sugar if not using straight away.
Mix the lemon juice with enough icing sugar to create the desired lemon icing that will drizzle down the sides of the cake.
Serve the cake iced with the lemon drizzle and decorated with candied orange pieces.
For this cake, I didn’t have enough candied orange, so added some of my cumquats in sugar syrup from a previous post.