Delicious blood orange, almond and pomegranate cake
Blood oranges are in season at the moment and although they are delicious to eat fresh or served in for example salads, I urge you, if you have some at home or if you can get your hands on some to make this cake as it really is something truly special.
If you can not find blood oranges, normal oranges work perfectly fine too or even clementines or lemons (see my notes at the end on what to think of when substituting). You can also skip the pomegranate if you can't get a hold of one but it does add a lovely taste, texture and also colour and pomegranate seeds are like little nutritional powerhouses full of antioxidants and vitamins which are so good for us.
This cake is sunshine on a plate and with it being January and 2021, I think we can all do with a little bit of sunshine. I hope you give this a go and do not be afraid to experiment with quantities and ingredients you have at home to avoid having to go to the supermarket and also make it your own (I have given a list of suggestions at the end of this post).
Happy Sunday everyone!
Blood orange, almond and pomegranate cake
5 large blood oranges (3 are needed for the cake and 2 for the syrup)
200 g salted butter at room temperature (try and use a high quality organic butter here as it makes a real difference)
170 g golden caster sugar (you can substitute with light brown sugar or coconut sugar)
60 g of honey + 2 tbsp
220 g ground almonds
80 g white spelt flour (you can use other flour here such as plain, self-rising, polenta or just use ground almonds entirely)
4 large free range eggs at room temperature (preferably organic)
150 g greek yoghurt
1,5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of sea salt
Optional: 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water or 1 tsp natural almond or orange extract (make sure high quality)
Orange and pomegranate syrup:
Juice from 2 oranges
2 tbsp honey
pomegranate seeds from 1/2- 1 pomegranate
Optional: 1/2 tsp orange blossom water
Set the oven to 160 fan or 180 celsius for a regular oven.
Wash the oranges thoroughly and then cover 1 of the oranges with cold water and bring to the boil. Leave to boil for a minute and then discard this water. Cover once again with cold water and bring to the boil and then leave to simmer for around 30 minutes until it is soft. Drain and leave the orange to cool (this can be done a few hours or a day ahead).
Butter a 24 cm cake tin which has first lined the base with baking paper and also flour the edges but not the base (I use almond flour).
Spread 1 tbsp of honey over the base. Cut the remaining 2 oranges into circles and arrange over the base before drizzling another tablespoon of honey over the base.
Once cooled blend the boiled blood orange into a rough pure (it does not need to be completely smooth).
Cream the butter, honey and sugar together.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Add the almonds, flour, baking powder, sea salt, greek yoghurt and any added extract or orange blossom water.
When combined fold in the blood orange pure and then spread on top of the arranged blood orange slices in the tin. Be little careful here to avoid the pieces moving around.
Bake in the lower part of the over for around 1 h or until a skewer comes out clean (this cake can vary slightly in baking time).
Leave to cool for around half an hour before taking it out of the tin.
For the syrup: Squeeze the juice from the 2 oranges into a small pot. Add the honey and orange blossom water if using and bring to a boil. Leave to boil for a few minutes until it starts to thicken slightly (you can choose here if you want more of a thinner sauce or a syrup). Turn off the heat and after a few minutes when cooled a little stir in half of the pomegranate seeds.
Spoon the orange and pomegranate sauce over the cake, add some extra pomegranates and serve with greek yoghurt.
If you are missing any of the ingredients in the recipe, I have added a few substitute suggestions below to help make use of what ingredients you might have at home.
I often recommend trying to use what you have at home when cooking and baking and to avoid unnecessary trips to the supermarket, specially at the moment whilst we are recommended to stay at home in the UK. So do not be afraid to mix it up and make it your own, some of the best dishes often come from changing things up or even making mistakes!
Instead or blood oranges: Us regular oranges or clementines (use 7 instead of 5 if using clementines and boil 2) or lemons (if using lemons then you might need to upp the sweeteners a little)
Instead of butter: Use a light olive oil
Instead of golden caster sugar: Use light brown sugar or coconut sugar or your own preferred sweetener
Instead of honey: Use maple syrup
To make the cake nut free: Use regular flour, spelt or self-raising flour instead
To make the cake gluten free: Use ground almonds instead of the flour or gluten free flour
Instead of eggs: Use aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas whisked until light and airy)
Instead of greek yoghurt: Use plant based yoghurt such as coconut
I know there are quite a few steps involved in making this cake so it does take a little bit of time but it is so worth it and I do hope that you give this recipe a go!