I came across this recipe in the May 2014 issue of Canadian Living. I haven’t really felt like doing too much cooking in recent days, but this one looked easy and post-able enough that I figured I’d give it a shot. This is one of those cakes that is “naturally” gluten-free, meaning that you’re not looking for a flour substitute. It’s more that the recipe doesn’t require anything flour like in the first place to keep its structure. It’s also dairy-free too (just don’t use butter to grease the pan), if that’s something you’re interested in.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease (with butter) a 9″ springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. While you’re at it, separate 6 eggs and put the whites in a mixing bowl.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together 6 egg yolks, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, and a pinch of cinnamon.
You are going to want to beat this stuff until it turns the colour of butter and when you lift the (stopped) beater away, you get a lovely long yellow ribbon coming out of the end, about 5 minutes.
You need 2 cups ground almonds for this, and 2 tablespoons orange juice, so you might want to get these ready ahead of time. I used the store-bought almond meal because I’m lazy, and just juiced the orange I took the zest from.
Fold the almonds and orange juice into the yolk mixture.
Now take those 6 egg whites you set aside and start beating them until stiff peaks form.
Take a scoop of the whites and stir it into the almond/yolk mix. This will sort of thin out the mixture in order that it doesn’t crush the rest of your whites in the next step.
Once that first scoop is combined, gently fold in the remainder of your egg whites into the almond/yolk mixture until fully combined. Make sure to scrape up from the very bottom to make sure you got it all.
Plop the batter into your prepared pan and bake it until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the centre is golden and firm to the touch, about 35 minutes.
If you need to, run a knife around the edge of the pan and leave the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack. Mine came right out, but I’m not always this lucky.
Don’t worry — it will sink in the middle. They always do.
Dust the cake with icing sugar right before you serve it (or the icing sugar will be absorbed into the moisture of the cake).
This cake was pretty good. I think I’d like to make it again, but this time I would do it with lemon zest, lemon juice, and then coconut flour instead of almond flour for a more tropical cake. I think I would also bake it differently. This one you can see was still a little runny in the centre, but the outside was starting to burn. I think I would bake it for longer, but at a lower temperature, like 325°F. Thoughts?