I've seen cakes made using a whole boiled orange before, but have only recently had the urge to give one a go myself. I had originally tried this with a grapefruit but I'm afraid they just reinforce the fact they are fruit that don't want to be loved (relatable). The reason I should say I wanted to try grapefruit was to see if I could have a cake somewhere between a lemon and orange in terms of sweetness, however, it turns out the cake isn't very sweet when you use orange, so there's no loss there. I would imagine a marmalade cake on the other hand would be somewhat sweeter. I believe this style of cake is middle eastern in origin, but my version is purely a cobbled together trial and error version, so I can't vouch for any authenticity. I can vouch for how easy it is to make though. You will spend more time waiting for there orange to boil, and for the cake to bake, than anything else. The cake itself is made in a food processor!
The two things I should note about this cake are: 1) I haven't stated the weight of orange, as I don't want people to fixate over getting to the nearest gram. I just grabbed an orange from the supermarket and boiled it. You basically want an orange the size of a naval orange, or funnily enough, a grapefruit. So basically, large. 2) You need to have the processor running when you add the eggs. The mixture is hot and if you throw them in and then blend, you could end up with scrambled eggy mixture.
Obviously I have called it out in the name, but to state one final fact about this cake, it is dairy and gluten free.
Hands-on Time 10 minutes
Boiling Time 60 minutes
Baking Time 60 minutes
1 Orange, large
180g Demerara sugar
4 Eggs, large
180g Ground almonds
1 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Fine salt
2 tbsp Honey
Deep saucepan with lid
1 Kettle of water
2lb Loaf tin
Fill a saucepan with enough boiled water from a kettle so the orange won’t touch the bottom.
Carefully place the orange in the water and place the pan over a high heat to bring to a boil.
As soon as the water starts bubbling, clamp on the lid and turn the heat down to low. Leave to simmer for an hour.
When the time has nearly passed, pre-heat your oven to 170°C/150°C(Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3, and line the loaf tin with baking parchment.
Carefully remove the orange from the pan and transfer it into a bowl. Use a knife to pop the stalk out of the top. Halve the orange and remove any visible seeds.
Tip the orange, and any juice, into the bowl of a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds,
Add the sugar and blend again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in case some sugar hasn’t been incorporated.
Break the eggs into a jug.
With the processor running, add the eggs one at a time, and blend for a further 30 seconds.
Finally, add the almonds, cornflour, baking powder, salt, and blend. Once again, scraping down the sides of the bowl so everything is incorporated.
Transfer the mixture into the lined tin. Give the tin a gentle shake to level it out.
Pop the tin into the oven on a middle shelf for 60 minutes.
When the time has passed, the cake should be a rich golden brown.
Remove the tin from the oven and immediately jab a few times with a skewer.
Add the honey to a clean saucepan and pop over a medium heat for a few seconds until runny and starts to hiss/bubble.
Pour the honey over the top of the cake, use a spatula to ensure an even spread if need be.
Leave the cake to cool completely before removing and serving.