Monday, 13 June 2011

Almond and Orange Blossom Cake

I have had an amazing time in Paris. I am back now and have less than 48 hours to unpack, repack, work, attend lecture, shop for bits and pieces before my next flight to Indonesia. I will tell you all about my trip later. I promise. I've also seen many delicious entries from the past few days... yummy cakes, grills, cocktails... I cannot wait to have a proper read this evening.

Before I leave though, there are a couple of things I want to post. The first one is my entry for this month's random recipe challenge. The theme this month is about your new cookbook. So this is how it works: get your latest cookbook you bought or received as a gift, open the page at random and cook the recipe on that page.

My newest cookbook is Nigella's How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principle of Good Food. I've been hinting this book many times for birthday, Christmas, Chinese new year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc... but my friends have some fantastic selective hearing. I couldn't wait any longer and last week I ordered the book from amazon, and now my Nigella cookbooks collection is complete.

When I opened the book at random, I had two options: stem-ginger gingerbread, which sounds absolutely delicious, but perhaps too wintry... and the other one is almond and orange blossom cake and since the days been rather sunny and warm, I had to go with this one. Nigella also says that this is the summer version of the sticky gingerbread... perfect!

This simple golden yellow cake is so wonderfully moist and fragrant... It's summer that you can eat. Enjoy in the afternoon, hopefully on a sunny day with (iced) tea.

Almond and Orange Blossom Cake
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
Serves 8

225  g soft unsalted buter
225 g caster sugar
4 eggs
50 g plain flour, preferably Italian 00
180 g ground almonds
1 scant teaspoon almond essence
zest of 1 medium orange
juice of 1/2 medium orange
2 tablespoons orange-flower water

Grease a 21 cm spring-release cake tin (you may also use a 23 cm one, but no bigger than that) and then line with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white. It's easier if you have a free-standing mixer. I don't... Handheld mixer works just fine. Beat the eggs gradually, one at a time and with each addition, sprinkle on some flour. When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond essence, grated orange zest, orange juice and orange-flower water.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour. After about 40 minutes, you may well find you have to cover it, loosely with foil; you don't want the top of the cake to burn. The cake is ready when the top is firm and a skewer, inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Take it out and let stand for 5 minutes or so in the tin. Then turn it out to a wire rack and leave till cool. Wrap it well in foil and leave for a day or two. Push some icing sugar through a fine sieve over the cake when serving.


  1. This looks so delicious and moist. I just got this book out of the library and will definitely be trying this one now! x

  2. The cake looks so wonderfully moist and yummy!!
    Looking forward to hearing all about your trip :)

  3. Mmm, this looks simple and delicious. Anxiously awaiting your trip details. :)

  4. Looks awesome, have a great trip!

  5. Michael-Your cake looks so incredible...might take on wings, and fly away...LOL that's how light it looks. Yummy!!!

  6. First paris, next indonesia? Wow, world traveller ;] I haven't traveled in a while and now you are making me want to go somewhere!
    This cake sounds amazing.. I want to make some right now!

  7. Paris, then Indonesia, and you even have time to cook in you are so energetic!
    The cake has really smooth and moist texture. Perfect!

  8. oh, Nigella indeed, how could I have guessed this was your newest cookbook... and how I love this book and LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake! Thanks for taking part x

  9. Maybe you should start hinting for a standing mixer, or would that be futile? Did you make it to Pierre Herme?! xx

  10. By the way, if you're headed to Indonesia, you might as well pop in to Brisbane for a cup of tea, you're almost in my neighbourhood! If you do, I'll send you home with my old kitchenaid- it's a little wonky but I'm sure you two would have heaps of fun :)

  11. oh funny, I mean that in a good way, Your new cookbook is one of Nigella's... ya know Michael, I have been looking for a recipe like this one, the flavors are exactly what I want in a cake using our local fruit... thank you so much, now, I hope your trip is blessed and with safe travel gods looking over you

  12. You can instantly see how lovely and moist it is from the slice! :D Great choice!

  13. Hey Michael,
    Oh man I'm craving for Indonesian food now. The problem in Indonesia is that either the ingredient's too expensive, not available or there's no oven.
    I usually just make Italian/Cajun seafood stuff.
    Try Grill prawn with olive oil, onion, garlic, spring onion, tomatoes, chili, herbs and mango.
    Best not to cook during holiday really...
    Hope you enjoy the trip back.
    Btw, I got you in my sock list, hope it's OK

  14. This is lovely cake Michael! Looking at your almond treat makes me want to make one myself straightaway! Perfect color and fluffiness for my afternoon tea! Simply delightful!

  15. This is a perfect recipe for us Floridians. As always, even a random from your Nigella cookbook is a wonderful treat. I know that you are a big fan of Nigella. I need to discover her cookbooks.

    Have a safe trip to Indonesia. We will be here when you return.


  16. First of all the cake looks gorgeous and I love how simple it is. Secondly, I'm super jealous of your travel plans! Paris then Indonesia??? Take me with you! Safe trip, can't wait to hear about it.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  17. Michael, what a great cake that I'd love to have a slice of right now! That's a lot of traveling, lucky you! I'm looking forward to hearing about it and have a safe trip!

  18. This cake sure look good and I love how easy is to bake it. Love the combination of almond and orange blossom. Great texture.
    Enjoy your trip to Indonesia
    Have a wonderful week :-)

  19. Thank you all for the wonderful comments! I am looking forward to my trip to Indonesia. I cannot wait!!

    @Angela: Yes, I visited Pierre Hermes in Paris :) I'll post about my trip to Paris when I return. I'd love a Kitchen Aid mixer. Don't worry, Australia is on my must-visit list!

    @Pierre: Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not planning to cook to be honest, I plan to eat.
    No problem at all. Thanks for the mention. Will be popping over in a sec.

  20. These flavors together sound amazing! Hope you had fun in Paris and got some Laduree time.

  21. What a fragrant looking and beautiful cake!

  22. IT's a wonderful book, isn't it?
    I love the look of the cake - like it would be perfect with a cup of tea and I am so addicted to my cups of tea.

  23. Almonds always give cakes a lovely moist touch. Really liking the sound of orange blossom water in there too. It looks great.

  24. This is a wonderful looking cake! Glad you had a great time in Paris and hope the rest of your travels are wonderful :)

  25. How to Eat is my favourite Nigella book ... well chosen!

    Your cake looks perfect.

    Happy travelling :-}}

  26. Funny I am just blogging about this very cake as it is in my repertoire and has been for years. Isn't it lush