Moroccan Spiced Orange Cake

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I came across this recipe (by Clodagh McKenna) for a flour-less orange cake in a Christmas magazine last year and kept it as it sounded so appealing. It is so simple to make – the ingredients are combined to make up a batter which is just poured into the tin and then popped into a cold oven. (Having said that when I was making the cake for the first time I didn’t spot that until it was too late and I put it into a hot oven, however it was absolutely fine.) It doesn’t look promising when it comes out of oven but wow does it taste gorgeous. Soft, moist, orange flavour, dark brown on the outside and a rich yellow gold on the inside and so so light. I have made it twice recently and it disappeared faster than any cake I have made. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Serves 8)

50g slightly stale white breadcrumbs

200g caster sugar

100g ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

200ml sunflower oil

4 eggs

finely grated zest of 1 large unwaxed orange

finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

whipped cream or Greek yogurt, to serve (optional)

Ingredients for the citrus syrup

juice of 1 unwaxed orange

juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

75g caster sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

Method

Line the base, and grease and flour a 20.5 × 5cm round cake tin.
Mix together the breadcrumbs, sugar, almonds and baking powder.
Whisk the oil with the eggs, then pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add the orange and lemon zests.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and place in a cold oven .
Turn on the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Cook in the oven for 45–60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown. Check that the cake is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre; if it’s ready the skewer should come out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.
Citrus Syrup

Meanwhile, make the citrus syrup. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved completely. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves from the syrup.

While the cake is still warm, pierce it several times with a skewer, then spoon the hot syrup over the cake, allowing it to run into the holes. Leave to cool. Spoon any excess syrup back over the cake every now and then until it is all soaked up.

Serve with whipped cream or a dollop of thick Greek yogurt, to if desired

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