Blood orange almond cake

A couple of weeks ago, I chanced upon beautiful Ippolito oranges in my local supermarket @waitrose . These were my first ippolitos and I loved how they blushed from atop the shelf amidst the satsumas and clementines. While we enjoyed juicing two of them, I really wanted to bake a single flavour orange cake and found a couple of ideas on the net. This orange almond flour cake is adapted and slightly tweaked from Louise’ idea  @nordickitchenstories to create something K and I would enjoy which meant keeping it less sweet and slightly altering the proportions of almond flour and all purpose flour (APF). The cake calls for making an orange caramel glaze (highly recommend you to not skip this ofcourse). I love that the peel of these oranges were ever so slightly bitter and lent such a beautiful flavour and taste to the cake – the sweetness of the glaze and the slight bitterness of the slices with the peels on and that texture! The almond flour being finer than almond meal but coarser than flour makes for a lovely texture – while we enjoy a luscious moist cake, we love trying different textures and ingredients in the cake base and this is a good tip that you can try with other flavours – am thinking coconut , vanilla or another citrus like lemon ! This recipe uses almond flour which is finer and this was blanched (no skin) so if you do substitute with coarse almond meal, there is a risk that the cake may not rise or hold together since the particles are coarser. We enjoyed ours with Greek yogurt but you can do cream fraiche too! 
I love inverting my cake tin and uncovering the pattern of an upside down cake. I have baked a few but there is always a nervous excitement as I peel away the parchment paper – it is a pattern I have come to love finding, a pattern of baking I have come to love.

Ingredients for the cake: 
2 big juicy blood oranges/ sweet juicy oranges 
100-120 gm caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
100 gm almond flour
80 gm plain flour
3 eggs
50 gm butter – melted
Some finely minced ginger – about 1.5 tsp

Ingredients for the orange caramel glaze: 
100 gm caster sugar
1 big blood orange 

Making the orange caramel glaze:
1. Heat 100 gm of golden caster sugar in a pan until it starts becoming brown and gooey and smells caramelly. Take care to give it a mix as it melts so that it doesn’t burn.
2. Once the sugar is all melted and it is a brown thick liquid, add the juice of an orange – this will be spurt so be careful. The melted sugar will set as one big caramel lump now – so just keep mixing and breaking that lump on medium heat until it dissolves. If a small lump is left just take it out and enjoy the candy.

Baking the rest of the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 160C. 
2. Peel two oranges and cook in hot water for about 15-20 mins until it is soft. Chop it into mushy chunks and keep aside.
3. Line the based of a baking tin with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter or oil.
4. Slice one of the oranges (With the peel, if blood orange, the peel is less bitter) into 2-3 mm slices. Place these slices on the parchment paper on the base of the tin. 
5. Pour the glaze on these slices. 
6. Now mix all the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs with sugar until thick, light and fluffy and fold the dry ingredients with the melted butter, orange pulp with the egg sugar mix.
7. Pour the batter on top of the oranges and bake for 35-45 mins at 200C until a toothpick inserted at the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool and enjoy with cream or yoghurt or honey!

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