Posted on February 4th, 2013
Today was some learning about the Jewish food culture. The orthodox Jewish kitchen is governed by ancient rules that are strictly adhered to. For instance, devout Jews have two kitchens and two sets of everything – sinks, plates, cooking pots etc.- to separate foods into ‘milk’ and ‘meat’, which must not be eaten together. The kosher laws are derived from the Torah, the five books written after God spoke to Moses, which sets out a blueprint for the Jewish way of life. ‘Kosher’ basically means ‘proper’ and these laws relate to what is to be eaten, how it is to prepared, what it is to be considered with and, finally, how it is to be served. Fascinating!
This flourless orange and almond cake is a classic Passover dessert drawing on the Sephardic traditions of the Jews community. It is dense, super moist and very forgiving too. AND it is gluten-free for all of us who are trying to follow a GF diet!
Great for morning tea, afternoon tea or even a dinner party when paired with mascarpone and candied orange slices or just mascarpone scented with orange zest/Cointreau. It’s perfection every time!
250 gm caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
6 organic eggs
250 gm almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
icing sugar for dusting in the end
1 small tub of mascarpone cheese
zest of one orange
few crushed almonds for sprinkling
1. Wash the oranges and cook in boiling water for 2 hours. Drain and allow the oranges to cool before pureeing them in a food processor. They are pureed, with skin, pips and all. This can be done ahead of time.
2. Preheat the oven to 160 degree centigrade. Butter a 20 cm springform cake tin and dust it with a little caster sugar.
3. Place the eggs and 250 gm of caster sugar in a mixing bowl and beat well. Stir in the orange puree followed by the almond meal and baking powder.
4. Pour into the tin and dust the top with more caster sugar to give the cake a beautiful golden crust.
5. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the top is golden brown. Dust with icing sugar.
6. Mix the mascarpone cheese with the orange zest and top it over the cake to serve.Sprinkle some almonds to give some crunch. One could also add a dash of orange liqueur like Cointreau to the cheese to give some more depth.
Recipe inspired from Batia Slater’s Orange and Almond Cake for Food Safari