This recipe literally haunted me from the day I set eyes on it in the Your Family magazine. I do not know what it was, but I knew, I just had to make it. It practically became like an obsession. It was a bit weird as I’ve always been a kind of person that would not really go for a citrus cake, not that I don’t love fruits, it’s just that cake for me always has been chocolate or vanilla. Fruit is fruit. Maybe I am maturing haha, and becoming more adventurous …not that, that is a bad thing, I suppose…well, whatever sparked my brain, I am grateful as this recipe is a definite keeper and I know I will be making this often.
The citrus flavour of the orange is so different. Cakes usually are sweet, but this one is far from sweet, it leaves this addictive subtle flavour in your mouth, just craving for more.
By the way, this cake can be Gluten Free as I have made it, or not. With only five ingredients, only the baking powder would make it either Gluten Free, or not. There is no flour in this cake either, so the slight indentation in the middle of the cake once cooked is quite normal.
Whilst reading though the method, I discovered that a food processor was needed, I was totally disappointed and thought I would have to put the recipe on hold until I had bought a food processor, but still going through my file, this recipe jumped out at me. Then, over the weekend, I could not take the suspense any longer…food processor or not, this cake was being baked !!! And, oh my word, I am so pleased I did…there are no words to describe this cake…It probably is the most moist, light cake I have ever baked or tasted. A good dollop of freshly whipped cream and a healthy fat slice and you’re good to go…It’s far from rich, and the combo of the citrus and the nuts, is just amazing. Another good thing about this cake is that there are no preservatives, or colourants in it. It is the perfect winner (except for the added cream if you want to be pedantic) but seriously the cream tops this cake. It is a cake, and a dessert. It is a cake that I would even have for breakfast.
Gluten Free Orange and Nut Cake
Preparation time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes
2 large oranges
6 free-range Jumbo eggs
3/4 cup (180 millilitres) castor sugar
300 grams mixed nuts, chopped*
1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) gluten-free baking powder
Zest of 1 orange, for garnishing
Icing sugar, for garnishing
Whipped cream or ice-cream for serving
In a medium-sized pot, place the oranges in, and cover with water. Put the pot lid on and cover. Once the water reaches boiling point turn the heat down to simmer. Check the water levels frequently every fifteen minutes, as the water levels drop quickly. Add more water to keep the oranges covered, if and when necessary.
Once the 2 hours are up, the oranges will be hot and soft to the touch. Drain the water out from the pot and then carefully take the oranges out without piercing the oranges.
Allow the oranges to cool slightly on the outside and then with a sharp knife carefully cut them into pieces (skins and pips included). The insides of the oranges will still be hot. Place the orange pieces on a plate and put them in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes. Then, once the oranges pieces have cooled completely, put them in a food blender and blend.
Then, turn on the oven to 150 degrees C fan oven / 302 degrees F.
Grease and line a 22 centimeter/8.58 inches spring-form cake tin with baking paper, and grease again. (I use spray ‘n cook). Make sure the lining exceeds the height of the baking tin, to allow for rising whilst baking.
In a large bowl, add the eggs and castor sugar.
With an electric hand beater, mix on the highest level, for ten minutes. By this time the eggs and castor sugar will be of a light, soft, frothy consistency, and would have practically filled the mixing bowl.
Then, stir in the blended orange mixture.
Add the chopped and grounded nuts.
Add the gluten-free baking powder.
Give the mixture a good stir with either a metal tablespoon or a wooden spoon.
Pour into the greased and lined spring-form cake tin, and place on a baking tray (just for extra precaution) and put in the oven. *
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (check after an hour if you see the top of the cake is golden brown, with a cake testing skewer, it should come out clean, once done).
Once done, take out of the oven, allow to sit in the tin for about five minutes, then release the sides and allow to cool.
Place on serving plate, dust with extra icing sugar and garnish with grated orange zest.
Serve with either whipped cream or ice-cream.
- I used a pestle and mortar for my nuts, and used a combination of almonds, pecans and walnuts.
- You will notice that the entire spring-form cake tin will be filled to the brim, don’t be over alarmed as the increased lining will help with the rising and should not tip over whilst baking. (When I baked mine I used a 20 centimeter spring-form tin, and I ended up having extra mixture. In desperation I put the extra mixture into 6 paper cup cake holders. When my cake was done I noticed it exceeded the brim slightly, but stayed within the lining. That is why I have suggested a slightly larger spring-form cake tin.)