Seville oranges are in season at the moment, ideal for making marmalade. However, you can use the strong bitter flavours in other ways including this truly excellent Persian cake that uses Seville Oranges and ground almonds. The result is a sticky, nutty cake with the mature citrus flavours coming through. It's not too sweet, but to my mind is a proper, grown up cake. It has the added bonus of being gluten free.
Also available at the moment are Blood Oranges which are sweet and delicious, and you could mix the two to give a sweeter cake.
- 5 Seville oranges preferably organic
- 6 large eggs
- 250 g mascarpone (optional)
- 125 g polenta
- 200 g ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 250 g golden caster sugar
- 100 ml rapeseed oil
- Pre-heat oven to 190˚C/170˚C FAN/ GAS 5
- Butter a loose-bottomed round cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
- Rinse the oranges then place in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Leave the oranges to cool completely in the cooking liquid.
- Cut the oranges in half. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh and juice, discarding the pips, and put into a blender. Chop up half one orange shell and add it. Blitz to a pulp.
- Break the eggs into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.
- Fold in the ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Gently mix in the orange pulp and rapeseed oil.
- Pour the mixture into the buttered cake tin and bake it for 45-50 minutes or until cooked through. Cover the cake with foil if it starts to darken too much.
- Serve warm or cold, on its own or with mascarpone.