Also our GFCF feature for the month, this recipe is perfect for spring when most citrus fruits are just past their peak and are no longer quite at their peak. The almond meal is super healthy, low glycemic and low carb, and the only fat is from the delicious and heart-healthy olive oil - yum!
The olive oil keeps the cake moist (perfect for leftovers) and is sweet enough for dessert, but not so unhealthy you couldn't enjoy some for breakfast or brunch. By grinding your own almonds into a meal, you can control both the texture and certify that the product is 100% gluten free.
Ganache or chocolate glaze, Sabra glaze (orange-chocolate liqueur), confectioner’s sugar. Honestly, our house isn’t huge on super-sweet desserts and we love it plain. Next time, I’ll probably press sliced almonds into the top of the cake half-way through baking for a more elegant appearance.
For storage, keep at room temperature and cover tightly with plastic wrap to maintain moisture. This cake improves with age and is best on its second or third day.
Orange Almond Cake
1 small/medium orange*
6 ounces whole almonds**
1 cup gluten free flour (like Jules Gluten Free Blend)
1 Tbsp baking powder
4 large eggs (or 5 medium), at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup olive oil (the higher quality the oil, the better)
Confectioner’s sugar, for serving (optional)
First things first, get started on preparing the citrus. Put the orange and lemon in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. They’re going to float, don’t worry about it. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
In the mean time, preheat the over to 325F (one rack in the center) to toast the almonds. Distribute the almonds on an ungreased sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until they look golden and smell all roasty and delicious. Err on the side of over-toasted, just make sure they don’t burn! Let them cool completely, (I dumped mine out onto a tea towel to expedite the process) then toss ‘em in the food processor until finely ground, like corn meal. Set aside and don’t worry about cleaning out the food processor.
Bump the oven temperature up to 350F and grease a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. The baking time will differ depending on which size you choose/have on hand.
When the fruit has cooled, cut the lemon in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds; discard. Cut the orange in half also and remove the seeds, leaving pulp in tact. Put the lemon rinds and orange halves in the food processor and chop until they form a really coarse paste.
Meanwhile, combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
In a mixing bowl or the base of a stand mixer, combine eggs and salt, then beat until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar. If using a stand mixer, switch to the blade attachment, stir in the flour/baking powder mixture. Beat in (on low speed) the fruit, almonds and olive oil, until just incorporated, but be careful not to over mix! Pour batter into springform pan and bake until toothpick comes out clean: 45-60 minutes for a 9-inch pan, 30-40 for a 10-inch pan.
Remove from oven and cool in the springform pan on a wire rack (I used the stovetop of my gas range– you just need circulation to facilitate quicker cooling). Remove the sides of the pan (by far, my favorite aspect of using the darn things) and serve.
* Because you are eating the whole fruit, rind and all, if possible, use organic fruit.
** You can substitute pre-roasted almonds but it turns out so much better with freshly toasted almonds.