Monday, September 17, 2012

Fit for a Queen: Orange Almond Torte

I had to come up with a special cake for my friend's Jubilee Birthday and it had to be gluten free.  It was no problem as this orange almond torte popped right into my head!  We've made it so often that the book falls right open to the page.

Some friends, who know their way deliciously around the kitchen, gave us The California Heritage Cookbook in 1982 and it has been in constant use ever since.   I don't think I've ever had a failure or disappointment with any of the recipes.  A tip of the hat to the Junior League of Pasadena for a job well done!!

The torte uses the entire orange--peel and pith included--except for the navel and any seeds.  I've never found a seed in a navel orange!  It is a very moist and medium-crumbed cake.  And, best of all, it's very easy to put together and will bring kudos from all at the table.  I hope you'll give it a try.



Orange Almond Torte from the California Heritage Cookbook

2 large navel oranges
8 ounces blanched almonds or 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
6 eggs
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar

1.  Wash the oranges and place them, whole and unpeeled, into a saucepan with water barely to cover.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until they are very soft.  Cut in half and remove the navel and any seeds.  Place the oranges, including the peel, in the bowl of a food processor and puree.

2.  Butter and flour a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

3.  If you are using the whole almonds, grind them in the food processor with the steel blade to a fairly fine powder (you don't want to end up with almond butter!).  In a large bowl, beat the eggs until light in color.  Stir in the salt, baking powder, sugar, pureed oranges and ground almonds and mix well.  If the orange skins were very thick, you may wish to add a few more tablespoons of sugar.  I've never had to do this.  A distinctive bittersweet taste is desirable.  The batter will be rather liquid.

4.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan and unmold onto a platter.

5.  Delicious topped with whipped cream that is slightly sweetened with confectioner's sugar and a tablespoon (or two) of Grand Marnier.

ENJOY!

22 comments:

  1. Using every part of the orange seems very wise.

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  2. i am the queen of this house so i need this cake. and also that is a beautiful cake plate

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  3. Your friend must have been thrilled Bonnie. What a beautiful cake.
    Sam

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  4. That looks so beautiful and simple -- bravo!

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  5. I love orange and this sure sounds good! Bet it smells good as the oranges are cooking too:@)

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  6. fit for a queen indeed. I am not a queen but I will be making this soon and scarfing the whole thing down myself! Is that okay? I just love it

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  7. I bet that tasted grand!!!!!
    : ) Kris

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  8. This sounds so delicious. I'll have to try it soon.

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  9. I bet the queen enjoyed this. Sounds good with the whipped cream & GM!

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  10. What an interesting and, I'm sure, delicious cake. The queen could not help but enjoy it. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  11. how beautiful... aren't the simple ones sometimes the best... I have a very similar recipe to this and I know how good it tastes but most importantly how INCREDIBLE the kitchen smells when baking this beauty!

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  12. This is a very interesting recipe! I've never thought of placing an entire orange in a cake. I'm intrigued.

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  13. The Junior League cookbooks are wonderful. You've discovered a fabulous recipe, Bonnie, and I know your friend appreciated your effort. It looks delicious.

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  14. I need to break out of my mold and try something new and this is just the ticket. Pinning it! (ok?)

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  15. This sounds like a wonderful recipe, Bonnie! I love almond 'flour' recipes and with beautiful oranges coming into season, this sounds perfect. Great recipe choice for your friend!

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  16. Mmmmm, that cake sounds good, Bonnie. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commmenting! Yes, you are right. Let the spoiling being! Susan

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  17. Having a daughter with lots of food allergies, I know how much your friend loved having a delicious gluten free treat.

    I finally have my computer back and am trying to catch up.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  18. I know your friend must have enjoyed this cake. I'm sure the whole house was filled with a wonderful aroma while making the cake.

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  19. That wonderful cookbook is so splattered and the pages are falling out, but I continue to turn to it frequently for "old" favorites, one of which is The Orange Almond Torte! Always a surprise dessert for those who have never tasted it and a welcome remembrance for those who have.

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