Tag: blood orange cake

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

No butter and no flour: The traditional Galician Torta de Santiago is only made with almonds, sugar, and eggs plus a little lemon zest and sweet wine for flavouring. Originating in the Middle Ages, when people didn’t really think about gluten-free or butter-free baking, it’s a cake that happens to please even the ones who want to cut down on calories or avoid normal flour in their diet in the year of 2016.

I’m neither of them but I got hooked on the idea of baking a cake with only three main ingredients – about one third of this cake is nuts, the other third is sugar (it’s still a cake) and the rest is eggs, seven to be precise. No baking powder or baking soda. The original Galician tart is more flat than mine – I wanted a juicy cake – and it has a pattern of the Cross of Saint James in the icing, which is where the sweet gets its name from, it translates to Cruz de Santiago. I skipped the religious reference. I also replaced the lemon with blood orange (zest and juice) and left out the wine. Cinnamon crept in instead and gave it a warming, wintery touch. Although this cake may seem quite unspectacular, it tastes wonderful: It’s moist, nutty, and fragrant. The inside is almost fudgy, but before you get there, you have to break the crisp crust. It’s as delicate as the outside of a French macaroon and once you cut through it with a knife, the center of the tart will collapse a little, just a bit, there’s no need to worry. This combination of soft cake and crispiness – apart from its delicious taste of course – is my personal highlight of this Spanish cake classic.

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

 

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

ground almonds (or hazelnuts) 350g / 12 1/2 ounces
freshly grated blood orange zest 2 tablespoons
ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon
organic eggs 7
granulated sugar 350g / 1 3/4 cups
freshly squeezed blood orange juice 2 tablespoons
icing sugar, to dust the cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Butter a 20 cm / 8″ springform pan.

In a large bowl, combine the almonds, zest, and cinnamon.

Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 1 minute until creamy.

Fold the almond mixture along with the orange juice gently into the egg-sugar mixture until just combined. Bake the cake for about 55 minutes or until golden brown and springy on top. Check with a skewer, it should come out almost clean. The centre of the cake will be a bit fudgy. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before you take it out of the pan. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

 

Spanish Almond Tart with Blood Orange

 

spanishalmondorangetart10

 

spanishalmondorangetart6

 

spanishalmondorangetart7

Blood Orange Cake

Blood Orange Cake

Two things led to this cake, firstly, I haven’t written about blood oranges in more than two weeks, secondly, my mother. She reads (nearly) everything I share on eat in my kitchen, she is my mother after all. She recently mentioned that my photos could do with some new decoration. She’s a woman of action, so within a few days she sent me a parcel packed with some pots, silver plates and a selection of her favourite linen from an artisan weaver in the Italian Dolomite Alps. I’m not really a big decorator, I’m more of a minimalist but I’m open to some inspiration, especially when it comes from my mother.

The package arrived, with beautiful handwoven craftsman’s work, a table cloth and runners in various colours and designs. One of them caught my attention, a golden yellow design, a bit more frilly than my usual style but I liked it. I knew it would need to be paired with the right food to unfold its beauty. The inspiration came within a split second, a spongy blood orange cake with sugared slices on top, a bit opulent and the fruits are also from Italy, like the cloth.

Blood Orange Cake

Blood Orange Cake

For this recipe you need a 24cm x 10,5cm / 9.5″ x 4″  loaf tin.

butter, soft, 180g / 6.5 ounces
sugar 180g / 6.5 ounces
organic eggs 3
blood orange zest 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed blood orange juice 3 tablespoons
flour 210g / 7.5 ounces
baking powder 1 teaspoon

one blood orange, cut into very thin slices, for the topping
sugar 50g / 2 ounces, for the topping
water 2 tablespoons, for the topping

icing sugar 2 tablespoons, for the syrup
freshly squeezed blood orange juice 4 tablespoons, for the syrup

Set the oven to 160°C / 320°F (fan-assisted oven) and line your loaf tin with parchment paper.

For the topping, cook the orange slices, sugar and water in a sauce pan on high temperature for around 5 minutes until the water has evaporated. Put aside.

Mix the butter together with the sugar till fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing for a couple minutes. Mix the orange juice and zest into the mixture, gently fold in the flour combined with baking powder and scoop into your prepared tin.

Bake for 35 minutes, take it out and arrange the sugared orange slices on top. Bake for another 15 minutes. Check with a skewer, it should come out clean.

Mix the icing sugar with 4 tablespoons of blood orange juice for the syrup and pour over the cake (you can spike the top of the cake).

Blood Orange Cake

 

Blood Orange Cake

 

Blood Orange Cake