A light and fluffy gluten free orange and almond cake soaked in citrus syrup.
I had a proper day off yesterday.
I woke early with no imminent deadlines to worry about, it wasn’t raining, and I could fill my day with what I pleased.
It was bliss!
I spent most of the day pottering about in the kitchen. The sun was supposed to be shining brightly later on that day so I made some homemade lemonade for the kids, freezing some of it into fruit packed ice lollies. This left me with a load of lemon pulp that I didn’t want to throw away.
I fancied baking a cake with that lemon pulp. I began preparing the Tunisian Orange Cake recipe which has been written in my little notebook for nigh on 15 years. It was given to me by the lovely Bo Simmons who used to own The Olive Tree cafe in the Toll Clock Shopping Centre in Lerwick, Shetland. This cake is still served in that cafe.
The recipe calls for 50 grams of either bread crumbs or polenta, and I have always made this cake with polenta – the coarse variety, with much success. It gives a nice yellow hue and pleasant texture to the cake.
This time, however, I used up three heel ends (one seedy brown, two white) of some gluten-free bread I’d been sent to try out a few months ago. See how I never throw anything away? Who else keeps three bread heels in their freezer just in case they might come in handy in the future?
I whizzed them up into breadcrumbs remarkably easily in my new Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor (I’ve got a giveaway for one of these and a Zyliss knife set running until the 3rd of August if you fancy your chances at winning one!). I was really impressed with how quickly the blades cut through the 100% frozen ends to make a nice, fine breadcrumb, ideal for cake baking!
I ended up not using the lemon pulp as I was worried all the pith would make the cake bitter, and after making the lemonade I was out of lemons, so I only used orange zest and juice this time.
The original recipe also calls for caster sugar in the cake, which I replaced with golden caster sugar as I’m trying to empty the packets in my cupboard. I was also trying to use up the eggs in my fridge as I was expecting another dozen of gorgeous Shetland free range eggs to arrive in my veg box that afternoon. This recipe uses four – ideal for a fridge clear out!
The cake turned out beautifully!
I will be making this cake with breadcrumbs instead of polenta from now on – it is such a light and fluffy cake and soaking it in the citrus syrup takes it to a whole new exotic level. I don’t know how authentically African this cake recipe is, and I’m not sure where the original recipe actually came from, but regardless, it’s a gorgeous cake – remarkably light for being gluten-free.
Tunisian Orange Cake
For the cake
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- Lightly grease an 8 inch round cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper. Don't preheat the oven!
- Combine the bread crumbs, golden caster sugar, ground almonds and baking powder together in a medium sized bowl.
- Whisk together the sunflower oil and eggs until light and fluffy and add it to the dry ingredients.
- Add the citrus zests and combine well.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and place into a cold oven.
- Set the temperature for 180 C/ 160 C fan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the citrus syrup.
- Put the lemon and orange juices into a small saucepan along with the sugar and spices. Bring slowly to a rolling boil.
- Simmer for two minutes and then set the pan aside to cool.
- Allow the cake to cool for five minutes after removing it from the oven and pour over the syrup. Leave to cool completely.
- This cake is delicious with yogurt or creme fraiche as a dessert.
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OTHER GLUTEN FREE CAKES YOU MIGHT LIKE
Gluten Free Coconut Rice Pudding Cakelets by The Crafty Larder
Flourless Orange Cake with Honeyed Raspberry Coulis by The Gluten Free Alchemist
Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Cake by Sew White
You might also like this Cassava Cake by Recipes from a Pantry. It only has 2 tbsp flour in the topping which I’m sure can be substituted for gluten free flour.
Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary was sent a Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. This is not a paid post.