Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flourless Orange Cake…aka Disaster Cake!

My workmate brought oranges back from his farm…perfect for making an orange cake. I have a great recipe for buttery orange cake, but this time decided I needed a new challenge. It seemed straight forward enough, but never underestimate the power of Ali’s baking disasters!

I’m not so keen on my oven. My mother has fought a bad oven for years until getting a new kitchen recently, so what did I do? Moved into a flat with a bad oven! No fan-forced for me. The element is on the bottom and the oven is about 20 degrees too hot I think. The first ever cake I made in this oven was a whisky, chocolate and raisin cake…expensive ingredients that all went in the bin when the outside was charcoal-burnt and the inside as uncooked as….. Anyway, it was uncooked!

The problem seems to be worse in cakes with low flour content. Usually I set the oven 20 degrees cooler than suggested and turn the cake regularly and it seems to work ok, just. Like the whisky, raisin and chocolate cake, the flourless orange cake browned very quickly on the surface and remained uncooked inside. I think I will try the cake again in a shallower tin…cook it quickly before it has a chance to brown. It really didn’t help that I left out the baking powder and madly tried to stir it in, with help from my flatmate, after the cake had been in the oven for 15 minutes.

Here’s the recipe, from Cooks Companion:
Interesting is the boiling of the oranges, filling my apartment with a beautiful, fresh citrus smell.

Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern Orange Cake

2 large oranges
6 eggs, beaten
250 g ground almonds
250 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder

Boil oranges, barely covered with water, in a covered saucepan for 2 hours. Allow to cool, cut open, remove pips and chop roughly (including the rind).

Preheat oven to 190 degrees and butter/flour a 24 cm springform tin. Blend oranges and eggs thoroughly in a food processor. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add the orange mixtures and whisk to combine. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 45 - 60 minutes. Cool in tin before gently turning out.


Cindy said...

I had recurring oven issues when I moved into my unit last year. If you haven't already, I'd recommend buying an oven thermometer - it hasn't solved everything, but my success rate has improved immensely!

Ali-K said...

Thanks Cindy, I think it's a definite investment. S-bo made the suggestion also and was very excited that somebody else thought along the same lines.