From Serena with Love

– By Andrea Gaines

I’m looking at some oranges my cousin Serena sent me from her winter hideaway in Florida. She is the only thing sweeter than these beautiful, perfumed fruits at this moment. And, their scent – and the sunny wishes that came with them – makes me want to create something special.

I quickly think back to a comment someone made about a flourless orange cake they’d once had. I then search for and quickly find a simple, 5-ingredient recipe that uses whole oranges. I can hear her right now: “What a cool idea!” Serena would say.
So, here it is. Not your five-minute cake. But, a fun and bright project for your February kitchen … or maybe, a tropics-inspired Valentine’s Day.

Flourless Orange Cake
Ingredients: 2 large oranges, 6 eggs, 8 ounces of almond flour (1/2-pound ground almonds), 8 ounces of sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder.
Directions: Cook the oranges, whole for two hours – skins and all. Let them cool, remove the seeds and puree (yes, skins and all). Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Beat the eggs in a bowl and blend in the pureed oranges, almond flour, sugar and baking powder. Pour your batter into a cake pan (greased with butter) and bake for 1 hour. Pans with a removable bottom are best for this delicate cake.

If you really want to wow the crowd: Reduce a cup of orange juice, 1/4 stick of butter and a heaping tablespoon of orange zest in a sauté pan for a delicious From Serena With Love orange cake glaze. It helps if you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream before you drizzle on the glaze …

Almond grinding tip: If you are grinding your own almonds instead of purchasing almond flour, grind in small batches/pulse the nuts slowly. You can also add some of the sugar to the mixture as you grind. This prevents the ground almonds from heating up and getting oily.

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