Phil and I recently did a quick Euro trip to Germany and France, where we a) picked up a bunch of baking goods and inspiration, and b) ate a lot of good foods, including some amazing Moroccan dishes. Tonight, we decided to host a Moroccan themed dinner party where we served a fantastic vegan couscous and an amazing New York Time’s chicken. Of course we had to serve dessert and I drew some inspirations from this fantastic recipe – with a couple of twists!
My version of this cake is dairy-free (which I achieved through a combination of avocado and apple sauce) but still tastes absolutely fantastic. The recipe isn’t difficult, but it is a little bit time intensive since I decided to make my own candied oranges and then infuse the remaining syrup with cardamom to drizzle over the cake. But alas, I’ll give you all the details here so that you can enjoy the cake for yourself!
Candied Orange Peels (I strongly recommend making them a day or so earlier)
- 3 large oranges
- 1.5 cups sugar
- ¾ cups water (plus more to initially boil)
- Thoroughly rinse the oranges.
- Cut the top and bottom of the oranges off, cut the fruits in half and carefully peel (leaving the peal as intact as possible).
- Cut the peel into small strips and put the remaining fruit into storage.
- Place the strips into a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
- Drain the water, cover the strips and bring to a boil again. Repeat once more.
- Combine the sugar and water in a bowl and then bring to a simmer in a pot.
- Cook for approximately 10 minutes and then add the peels.
- Cook the peels for 40-50 minutes at a simmer.
- Once the peels are almost translucent, drain the syrup (for later use in the cake), cool and dry the peels for several hours before storing them in a container.
Orange Almond Cake
- 1 orange
- 1 medium, ripe avocado
- 4 oz. unsweetened apple sauce
- 8 oz. pure cane sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups semolina
- 2 cups ground almonds
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 8 pods of green cardamom, crushed
- Grease two round cake pans and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Thoroughly rinse the orange, dry and grate the rind.
- Juice the remaining orange and set aside.
- Slice the avocado and mush with a fork until it begins to have a soft consistency.
- Add the apple sauce, sugar and eggs, and mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, mix the semolina, almonds and baking powder.
- Fold in the avocado-apple-sugar mix and add the orange juice.
- Pour the batter into the two greased pans and bake for 30-35 minutes on the middle rack.
- While the cakes are baking, reheat the syrup from the candied orange peels and add the crushed cardamoms. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes and then let cool.
- Once the cakes are done, let cool, decorate with the orange peels and drizzle the cardamom-orange syrup over the cake before serving.
Of course you can cut the recipe in half (since this does make two cakes), but the proportions with the avocado and orange work out really well if you stick to baking two cakes. Plus, it will give you an excuse to either have people over or impress your colleagues with your baking skills 🙂
Either way, I hope you enjoy it. As usual, let me know what you think!