Tuesday 4 April 2017

Almond cake

When I moved to Sydney and, ultimately, out of home, my farewell present from my friends was a food processor. The same one is still going strong today, pulverising and puréeing like the day I got it, about eighteen years ago now. I used it last week to make an almond cake for a friend who's dairy-free. A little like a Middle-Eastern orange cake in that its keystone ingredients are whole, boiled citrus (in this case, lemon as well as orange) and almonds - both of which necessitate sharp blades to blitz and blend - it also incorporates olive oil and a small amount of flour, for leavening. Something a bit different for a kitchen work horse that I'm grateful remains exactly the same. 

Almond cake
Adapted from a recipe by Molly Wizenberg as published in the New York Times

Because of the olive oil and almond meal, this cake keeps really well.

1 small to medium orange
1 lemon
6 oz raw almonds
1 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
4 eggs
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
cup olive oil
icing (confectioners’) sugar  

Place the orange and lemon in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and cool.

Heat the oven to 325 deg F (160 C), and set a rack in the middle position. 

Bake the almonds 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely, then pulse in a food processor until ground. 

Preheat oven to 350 deg (180 C), and grease a 9-inch springform tin. 

When the citrus is cool, cut the lemon in half, and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half, and discard seeds. Put the fruit in the food processor and process almost to a paste.

Combine eggs and salt and beat until foamy. Beat in the sugar. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Add the citrus, almonds and olive oil, and beat until incorporated. Pour the batter into the tin, and bake for about 1 hour. 

Cool, remove from tin, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

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