Blood Orange and Almond Cake
As I am sure you all remembered, yesterday was Mother's Day. We cooked lunch for my mum and my mother-in-law and I wanted to create a recipe for them both. This one uses one of my favourite fruits for this time of year, blood oranges. Sweet, with a sharp tang they are delicious and look beautiful with their red, orange tinged flesh. They are also high in vitamin C, an important antioxidant for the immune system and overall health.
Both of these ladies are big fans of the citrus flavours and so I have put together my own version of an orange and almond cake. This uses just ground almonds making it gluten free and beautifully moist. It is sweetened with xylitol, a healthier alternative to sugar. Xylitol is a naturally ocurring sugar in many vegetables and fruit and is extracted from the fibrous material in these and the bark of birch trees. It is much lower on the glycaemic index than sugar meaning that it does not raise your blood sugars in the same way. I like it for baking as it is granulated meaning that you can use it as you would sugar. You also need less as it is quite a bit sweeter than ordinary sugar.
So here is a healthy Mother's Day recipe for two very lovely mums.
2 blood oranges (plus 1 for decoration)
220 g ground almonds
1tsp baking powder
Wash the oranges and put them in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1.5-2 hours. Allow to cool and then cut them into pieces, remove the pips and process in a blender to a puree, skins and all.
Beat the eggs and stir in the almonds, baking powder, orange puree and xylitol. Pour into a greased 23cm tin and bake at 200c for roughly one hour, until the top is golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
To decorate, I thinly sliced the remaining orange and caramelised it. To do this, dissolve 220g sugar or xylitol in 235ml water. Add the orange slices in one layer and gently simmer for around 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the orange slices to cool in the water, turning them occasionally.
Arrange the orange slices on the cake and serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.