MAKES A 23 cm (9 in) SINGLE-LAYER CAKE
This is my version of a flourless orange cake which I love to eat. It’s based on a classic Italian whole orange cake that is traditionally flourless (and gluten-free), relying on eggs to bind it, and whole oranges (pick seedless varieties) boiled in water until soft, then puréed. Polenta (cornmeal) lends a beautiful golden colour and the cake utilises a whole orange to provide a wholesome orange flavour! The skin contains a huge amount of aromatic oils that impart their beautiful citrus flavour and a hint of bitterness, and the pithy skin contains large amounts of fibre and pectins. Use a gluten-free baking powder to keep it gluten-free.
extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for rubbing 40 g (1.4 oz)
whole orange (approx. 1 large) 250 g (8.8 oz)
oat or soy milk 160 g (5.6 oz)
ground almonds 180 g (6.3 oz)
baking powder 8 g (2 tsp)
bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) 2 g (1/2 tsp)
caster (superfine) sugar 180 g (6.3 oz)
ground cinnamon pinch
polenta (cornmeal) 100 g (3.9 oz)
fresh citrus segments to decorate
Line the base of a 23 cm (9 in) round sandwich or springform tin (pan) with baking parchment. Rub a fingertip dipped in oil around the sides of the tin.
Wash the orange well, then bring to a simmer in a small saucepan of water over a low heat. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove from the water and leave to cool completely. The cooking will tenderise the skin and remove some of the bitterness from the white pith of the peel. Cut into small pieces.
Add the 250 g (8.8 oz) of cooled orange with milk and olive oil to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir gently with a whisk to disperse all the ingredients.
Scrape the blended orange purée into the bowl and mix until everything is well combined. Leave the batter to rest for 1 hour to soften the texture of the polenta.
Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F/gas 4). Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 35–40 minutes. You will know when this cake is ready when it has domed slightly across the top and has taken on some light browning.
Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin set on a wire rack, then run a sharp knife against the edge of the tin to release the sides. Decorate with fresh citrus segments. If topping with fresh fruit, this cake is best eaten on the same day but, without fruit, store the base in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Excerpted with permission from A New Way to Bake by Philip Khoury published by Hardie Grant Publishing, September 2023, RRP $42.00 Hardcover.
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