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Marmalade Cake

The snow wintry mix rain has set in for the last few days, and we supposedly have a few more days of wetness look forward to… but I don’t even really mind because I think I have found my “sunshine-in-a-bite” in this marmalade cake! This rustic cake is moist and coarse-crumbed, rich in toasted nutty-ness with a strong and vibrant citrus flavor that screams HELLO SUNSHINE!!!!!!

This cake certainly packs a punch like no other citrus-flavored baked good I’ve ever had before; this is due to the fact that the recipe calls for boiling a whole orange and lemon until they are soft and squishy (I know, seems crazy! I was so curious! But it totally works!),

then pulverizing the whole orange and lemon rind into a thick paste, which is then added to the cake batter. Yes, pulp, rind, skin, and ALL.

As one can imagine, the addition of the entire fruit, including the rind, adds a bit of gentle bitterness to the cake, which can be a bit off-putting to some. But I really enjoyed it, just as I enjoy a good marmalade, because I would rather savor the slight bitterness in appreciation of the whole entire orange than a tooth-achingly cloying jam. This lovely cake has been aptly named “marmalade cake” by Orangette in celebration of this citrus awesomeness. In addition, the toasted almonds are not only tasty but give heft and weight to the crumb, reinforcing my belief that citrus and almonds are quite the dynamic duo.

Each bite just makes me really happy, and I just can’t help myself from reaching for another slice… and another….

A fresh dusting of powdered sugar resembles freshly fallen snow. (Hopefully the only “snow” I will see for the rest of this winter!!)

Marmalade Cake (Orange, Almond, and Olive Oil Cake)

adapted from Orangette, via Boonville Hotel

The recipe calls for 1 small-medium orange, but I ended up using an orange on the larger size. I suspect this orange also had a pretty thick rind; the basis for this suspicion from having eaten its sibling just a few hours before baking and having found that orange had a thick rind. Next time I will try a smaller orange, or perhaps this similar recipe that uses clementines (very little rind!) instead.

1 small to medium orange
1 lemon
1 cup of toasted almonds (I used blanched slivered almonds and toasted them to golden perfection; Orangette used raw almonds and toasted them)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil

confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

  1. Put the orange and lemon in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover (the fruit will float, this is OK). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds. Preheat the oven to 325 F and set a rack to the middle position. Put the almonds on an ungreased sheet pan (I lined with parchment paper) and bake until they are golden and smell warm and toasty, about 10-15 minutes. Set them aside to cool completely. When cool, pulse them in a food processor until finely ground, the texture of coarse sand. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a 9-inch round springform pan.
  4. When the citrus is cool, cut the lemon in half and scoop out and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half and discard the seeds. Put the lemon rind and orange halves in the food processor. Process until a coarse paste forms.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  6. Combine the eggs and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat until foamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Mix in the flour mixture. Add the citrus, almonds, and olive oil, and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan.
  7. Before serving, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Alternatively, you could also make a quick glaze with confectioners’ sugar and water, or orange juice.
  8. Savor the awesomeness of the citrus.