Here at Meadow Farm Bakehouse, we want to share the cake love by providing you with some of our favourite recipes. After all, part of the joy of food is sharing it with others (and the eating of course!)
We’ve been loving bringing you our favourite recipes, and hearing your feedback on the cakes you’ve made from them! (If you’ve missed any, take a look at our Carrot Cake Recipe here, and our vegan Lemon and Blueberry Cake Recipe here!)
This week – Orange and Almond cake!
This delightfully fresh tasting cake is naturally gluten free, and is a perfect way of using up any spare oranges you have laying around. It takes a bit of prep, but is totally worth it for the moist and flavoursome sponge you end up with!
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the general name for a protein that is found in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. It is found in many foods, even ones you wouldn’t expect (english mustard for example!). It is generally described as the “glue” that sticks food together, helping food to maintain it’s shape and structure.
Some people are particularly sensitive to gluten, and find that they feel better when they avoid it. Some people can also have a serious condition called Coeliac disease where ingesting gluten causes their immune system to attack their own tissues, causing damage to the intestines and also some rather unpleasant side effects.
Whatever your reasoning for avoiding gluten, we take it very seriously at Meadow Farm Bakehouse. Our gluten free ingredients and bakes are stored in dedicated gluten free areas in fridges and freezers. All equipment and work surfaces are thoroughly wiped down and, wherever possible, we make our gluten free bakes first to ensure no regular flour can contaminate it unintentionally. All our staff are fully trained in food safety and handling, including allergens, but if you have any further questions please see our allergen page, or feel free to contact us.
Gluten is generally critical in baking, as it what gives the cake that fluffy but sturdy structure. If you’ve ever had gluten free products before, you’ll probably notice that the texture was crumbly, sometimes even powdery. Gluten free flours can be obtained fairly easily now days, and they are specifically designed to replace normal flour in baking. Xanthan gum is another common gluten free ingredient, replacing the “gluey” properties that gluten usually provides, and is an excellent addition to your store cupboard if you want to make more gluten free bakes.
In this recipe however you don’t need any special ingredients (in fact, you only need four!). We use naturally gluten free ground almonds, which not only replaces the flour to provide structure, but also adds a subtle flavour. The orange puree also provides structure thanks to the proteins in the whole orange, as well as making the cake deliciously moist and flavoursome.
Still not convinced?
Don’t feel confident enough in your gluten free baking skills to attempt it? Or simply don’t want to turn on the oven today? That’s ok, we do the hard work so you don’t have to!
Freshly baked in our bakery on Hayling Island, and with free delivery 6 days a week, there’s nothing to stop you from having the cake and eating it too! Order before 11am Monday – Saturday and you could even have it the same day, no forward planning required! Our Orange and Almond Cake is just one of our expanding Gluten-Free menu options, and features in our brand new Gluten Free Afternoon Tea Box, as well as being available to order individually. Treat yourself or a loved one today!
The Cake Recipe
- 2 Oranges
- 5 Eggs
- 200g Caster Sugar
- 225g Ground Almonds
- Sprinkle of Flaked Almond
- Boil the oranges whole for 45 minutes, until a knife goes in easily
- When cooked, drain into a sieve to cool
- Once cooled, cut oranges in half, remove pips, and then place in a blender and bend until smooth
- Preheat the oven to 160C
- Grease and line a 9″ round tin
- Separate the egg whites and yolks from the 5 eggs
- In a mixing bowl, mix the egg whites until they reach soft peaks
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until pale
- Add the ground almonds and pureed oranges
- Gently fold in the whisked egg whites until evenly combined
- Pour the mixture into the tin and level, and sprinkle with flaked almonds
- Bake for 50-55 mins, or until firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean
We like to leave the cake as it is, simply decorated with the flaked almonds we sprinkled on top. It really highlights the simple but delicious flavours the cake has to offer. However, if you wanted a little something extra to sweeten it up and finish it off, why not try an orange glaze? Simply mix some orange juice with icing sugar until you have a thick but spreadable consistency, and spread evenly over the cake. Just remember to skip the flaked almonds before baking, otherwise they’d get lost underneath! Toast them and sprinkle them on top of the icing instead, along with some orange zest, for that lovely finishing touch!
TIPS AND TRICKS:
- Oranges can be boiled and blended in advance, and then frozen into portions. This not only reduces the time it takes to make the recipe (just defrost the frozen portions gently in the microwave) but also means you can minimise food waste by using up oranges before they go past their best, without the added pressure of making a cake right away.
- There are lots of different techniques to separating eggs. We prefer to use the egg shell method, gently tipping the yolk back and forth over the bowl until all the white has drained off. It’s less messy than using your hands, and less washing up than using a bottle or a specially designed tool! But everyone has their own way of doing things, and the only way to find your preferred method is to practice!
- When folding in the beaten egg whites, do so gently. You want to keep as much air as possible in those egg whites, or your cake will be a bit deflated!
- This recipe is also dairy free as it uses no butter in the ingredients (but not vegan, as it has eggs in it), just remember to use a dairy-free butter for greasing the tin if you are providing for any dairy allergic guests.
- Want to make this cake into a showstopper? Double the recipe and split it between two 9″ round cakes, withholding the flaked almonds before baking. You can then stack them once cooked, with a layer of orange or vanilla buttercream in between. Top with more buttercream, and decorate with toasted flaked almonds and orange zest. Let your creativity run free!
And that’s all there is to it!
Cake for everyone!
We’d love to hear your thoughts, successes or failures! Was this the first gluten free cake you’ve made? Have we inspired you to try something different? Let us know in the comments below!
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