Almond Cake with Orange syrup

26 Feb

Today we are having friends over for lunch – all of us have been away and have not seen one another for some weeks.  Also Mick’s mum is here visiting from Shropshire, and she knows them all too so we thought it would be fun.

 

It is the most amazing, warm February day and so I have set up the lunch table in the courtyard (I am mightily relieved otherwise I would have had to give the dining room a going over which I don’t feel like!).  I am making a simple lunch of grilled baby chickens (1 each!) marinated in pureed garlic, onions, wine, vinegar and lemon juice, roast potatoes and a huge salad with two dressings.  I like doing lunch on Saturdays as somehow people don’t expect a great big palaver of a meal, and just enjoy the getting together and avoiding going supermarket shopping!

 

Anyhow, for pud I decided to make an unfussy affair and dipped into my lovely Spooning with Rosie cookbook.  She always comes up trumps with delicious yet simple recipes that even if you don’t like cooking, will find easy and fun to make.

I trust her so much that I have broken my rule of never serving anything which I haven’t tried out on Mick first.  When I perused this recipe, I thought “that’s the one” as it is SO simple and also it is almond blossom time here and so has a nice seasonal feel to it.  She serves it with champagne or pots of tea; I am serving mine with strawberries and vanilla mascarpone to make it more dessert-like.

 

Pre heat the oven over to 160 or gas mark 2.

Take a 25 cm loose bottomed cake tin and line it with baking parchment.

 

6 medium eggs

300 g golden caster sugar (I didn’t have any and so just used ordinary sugar, not even caster!)

200 g ground almonds

1large juicy orange (which I picked from our tree)

2 tablespoons of water (I used orange blossom water)

 

Separate 3 of the eggs

Add the other 3 full eggs to the yolks and beat up with a fork.

Add to these the almonds and 200 g of the sugar. Grate in the orange zest, and keep the orange for juicing later.  Whisk the egg whites until stiff and carefully fold them into the almond mixture.  Poor the foamy mixture into the prepared cake tin and place in the oven for around 50-60mins.

 

Put the remaining 100g of sugar in a pan with the orange juice and a couple of tablespoons of water. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and set aside.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave in the tin to cool.  Then prod with a toothpick all over and spoon over the syrup.  It seems a lot but I think this is supposed to have a kind of Middle Eastern type stickiness to it so really go for it.  Leave to cool completely.

 

Anyhow, mine as you can see has turned out quite nicely – I will let you know after lunch how it tastes!

 

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