Being on Maternity Leave for a few months, I have the chance to be able to go back to France as much as I want and as long as I want…. I went back to France for La Toussaint and only came back mid-November after a great time spent at my sister’s home in Brittany then at my parents’ home in Auvergne where the whole family is used to gather for a great hunting week-end.
Having lots of “twin-sitters” at hand, I had lots of time to spend in the kitchen and dozens of hungry people to feed as well! I decided to bake the Orange & Almond Tunisian Cake as a dessert because it’s rich in flavor and it also changes from the cakes we are used to serve for large party dinner in France. But as I was not too sure about the success of that recipe I also made some chocolate cakes just in case!
As a result, both of them had a great success…
I decided to write about that orange cake recipe today because I promised the recipe to Chantal who has been as every year a really great help to all of us. She was there to help with the baby, with the cooking, the shopping, the decoration and the whole organization of that great week-end. So thank you Chantal for being here every year in our family and here is the recipe that you were waiting for!
Ingredients for the cake
- 20 cm diameter cake tin (loose base is better)
- 45g breadcrumbs
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 1½tsp baking powder
- 200ml sunflower or vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- finely grated zest of 1 large orange
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Ingredients for the syrup
- 85g of caster sugar
- juice of 1 orange
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Optional: 1 or 2 slices of orange (2-3 mm thick)
Method for the cake
For that recipe, I keep the bread leftovers of the week in a box in order to make my own tasteful breadcrumbs. I simply process the bread until the breadcrumbs are roughly fine to give the cake that special texture.
If your bread is still too soft because you never have leftovers…. or because you don’t eat bread… just toast slices of bread on a baking tray in the oven til crispy then process them.
Once your breadcrumbs are ready, mix them with the sugar, almonds and baking powder in a large bowl.
Then you can add the oil and eggs and beat well until the mix is thick but smooth.
At last stir in the orange and lemon zest.
If you have a loose base tin, use it otherwise grease a 20 cm cake tin and cover the base of the tin with a 20 cm diameter piece of baking paper. That way, you’ll be sure that your cake will come out the tin without collapsing….
Once the tin is prepared, pour the mixture in it and bake it for 35-40 min in a preheated oven at 180°.
The cake is ready when the surface has a rich brown color and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let it cool in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes.
At that stage, I prefer to keep the cake in the tin for the next step which consist in pouring the syrup on top of the cake. That way, all the syrup stays in the cake and you don’t need to clean the plate on which you have put the cake if there was too much syrup.
Method for the syrup
While the cake is baking, you can prepare the syrup.
As an option I add slices of oranges in the syrup because I use them for the decoration of the cake.
Put all the ingredients into a pan and bring them gently to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Let simmer for 3 minutes.
Pass the syrup through a thieve and keep the orange slices and the Cinnamon stick on the side.
Pierce holes in the cake with a skewer while still warm and pour the syrup over it. Leave it to cool, spooning the syrup over the cake until it is all soaked up.
Once the cake is cool and all the syrup absorbed, turn the cake on a nice presenting dish and decorate it with the slices of orange and the cinnamon stick on top.
Serve it with a bowl of Greek yogurt on the side or a spoon of Greek Yogurt if you present it on a plate. The sourness and the freshness of the yogurt will really give a good balance to the sweetness of the cake.
* Thanks to the syrup, the cake will remain very moist for a few days if you cover it with cling film and put it in the fridge.
** You can also bake that recipe in mini molds. In that case, bake them for about 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the molds.
Hope you will enjoy!