Weekend Treats: Roasted orange & hazelnut cake

Long Lunch 14/09/2018
Photo: Nicola Galloway.

Roasted Orange & Hazelnut Cake by Nicola Galloway

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: Makes 12 slices

This cake has a gloriously light, almost sponge-like, texture. The cake batter is very runny that sets lightly as it cooks.

3 medium oranges – my homegrown oranges veer on the side of small so use 2 oranges if particularly large
knob of butter, about 30g
2 teaspoons runny honey
2/3 cup ground toasted hazelnuts (*see ingredient note)
1 cup white flour (gluten-free: use 2/3 cup white rice flour + 1/3 cup tapioca)
1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free if required)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
4 free-range eggs

Preheat oven 180 degrees Celsius.

Trim the rind away from the orange flesh (a little pith remaining is OK) and chop the flesh into wedges (aiming for around 250-300g flesh). Arrange the wedges in a single layer in a baking dish, dot with butter and drizzle with honey. Bake for 20-25 minutes until softened and beginning to caramelise (*See note below). Cool a little.

Turn down the oven to 160 degrees. Line and grease a 20cm cake tin.

In a mixing bowl combine the hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Place the orange wedges into a food processor, add the sugar and blend until smooth. With the engine running, add the eggs one at a time. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold together into a runny batter. Pour into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is lightly golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve with creamy yoghurt.

*Note: Some oranges will be juicier than others. I tested the recipe with several types of oranges and had about 1-2 teaspoons caramelised juice around the oranges once cooked. It is important the orange wedges are roasted in a shallow dish in a single layer so they can dry out and concentrate in flavour (similar to roasting vegetables). If after 20 minutes the orange pieces are surrounded by juice pour off the excess juice, turn up the oven to 200C and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until tender.

*Ingredient note: I used toasted and ground hazelnuts for their complementary flavour to orange. I often pick up a bag of unshelled hazelnuts from the market to hand-crack and add to cooking, the extra time involved makes the cake a treat. If hazelnuts are unavailable, substitute with ground almonds (almond meal). Toast the whole hazelnuts in the bottom of the oven while the orange wedges are cooking. Once the skins crack (about 10 minutes) tip into a tea towel and rub away the skins. Cool, then finely grind in a spice grinder or food processor.

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