[Gâteau à l'Orange et au Gingembre]
This is another cake I baked for our Goûter de Cousins last Sunday. I tasted my first flourless orange cake about a year ago at Rose Bakery, and absolutely loved it. I had tried to reproduce it then, and had made an Orange and Poppyseed version, adapting a recipe found on the web. It was really good - the orange and poppyseed pairing was great - but the texture wasn't quite what I was looking for.
This time, I was very happy to use a recipe from Trish Deseine's book "Mes petits plats préférés", a brilliant and friendly and appealing collection of her favorite easy and slow-cooking dishes. The recipe is called "Gâteau de clémentines pochées" (Poached Clementine Cake) and is actually pretty similar to the one I used a year ago, with just a little more almonds and a little more sugar.
As you know, following a recipe without throwing in my two cents just isn't as much fun, so I decided to make an orange and ginger version of this cake, adding fresh ginger and candied ginger to the batter. The oranges I used were three of the small blood oranges from my last Campanier basket.
This cake was a real hit and I received lots of compliments about it. Incredibly moist and flavorful, with the wonderful taste of orange, the subtle kick of ginger and a delicious sugar crust, it also looks beautiful. I will definitely make this again while the orange season lasts...
Gâteau à l'Orange et au Gingembre
- 3 small oranges or 2 large oranges (preferably organic), about 600 g (1 1/3 lb) total
- 6 eggs
- 250 g (1 1/4 cups) sugar
- 250 grams (2 1/3 cups) almond powder (a.k.a. powdered almonds or almond meal)
- a thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup candied ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the topping:
- the zest and juice of a lemon
- 60 grams pearl sugar, the type used as a topping for chouquettes or brioches, available at Scandinavian foods stores
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Grease a 24-cm (8-inch) springform cake pan.
Wash the oranges well. Put them in a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Put the saucepan over medium heat, and simmer for two hours, adding a little hot water when the level gets too low (note : you may, like me, find the smell of whole oranges boiling very unpleasant, but it has nothing to do with the smell or taste of the finished product). Drain, and let cool. Cut in quarters and puree in the food processor.
Peel and chop the fresh ginger. Cut the candied ginger in small dice. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Whisk in the orange puree, the sugar, the almonds, the baking powder, the fresh ginger, until well blended. Fold in the bits of candied ginger.
Pour the batter in the cake pan, and bake for about 1 hour, until puffy and golden. Let cool for a few minutes on a rack, while you prepare the frosting. Run a knife around the cake to loosen it, and remove the sides of the pan.
Put the sugar crystals in a small bowl with the lemon juice and zest. Spoon this mixture evenly onto the top of the cake. Let cool completely before serving. It can be made a day ahead, wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator.
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