I am back from my holiday in Brittany, my head still full of its spectacular coastline, the charming medieval towns and the amazing sandy beaches, free from the crowd we are so used to in Southern France. Travelling for me is a lot about food, all the more when I go to France, my home country! I got so much inspiration from all the delicious dishes we enjoyed during our almost three weeks stay. It was surprisingly easy to get gluten free pastries from the various places we visited, starting with this exquisite orange and almond cake.
I savored this fruity flourless cake on the terrace of Le Petit Jagu, a quirky restaurant in the gardens of the medieval Castle of La Roche-Jagu, in Côtes d’Armor. What a treat, the cake was deliciously moist and melted in the mouth, who said gluten-free baked goods are dry and crumbly? The chef kindly shared her recipe with me (merciii!). I changed a little bit the ingredients, swapping the (enormous) amount of white sugar for honey and coconut sugar, both healthier sweeteners with lower glycemic index than table sugar (respectively 55 and 35 against 70 for white sugar). The great thing about honey is that it has 30% more sweetening power than sugar, which means less of it is required to achieve the same effect. I always use organic local Finnish honey. Why I add partly coconut sugar instead of only honey, is as not to affect too much the texture of the cake.
I topped my cake with toasted almond slices and homemade powdered coconut sugar. My garden is currently full of red currants or groseilles, ready to be picked. I added a few to decorate my serving plates, and because their slight acidity (I like so much better the French word acidulé) brings a nice contrast to the sweetness of the cake.
Now let’s bake! It is important to buy organic oranges for this recipe, as we will use the full oranges in the cake, yes skins too! After cooking them for about one and half to two hours, they will become soft and ready for mixing. You can cook them the day before to save time, after that you won’t need more than 15 minutes to make your cake batter ready for oven. I used a square 23x23x5 cm baking tint with removable base. Whichever shape you choose, I recommend a removable bottom to take the cake out more easily.
- 2 organic oranges
- 6 eggs
- 250 g almond powder
- 100 g organic honey
- 100 g coconut sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Wash and brush the oranges. Place in a large saucepan, covered with water and simmer for about 1,5-2 hours until very soft. Let them cool down.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Discard oranges tips. Place the oranges in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth (if you don't have a food processor, just chop them with a knife to a purée).
- Whip the eggs and coconut sugar in a bowl until the mixture gets thick and fluffy. With a spoon, stir in the honey, then the almond powder and the baking powder. Mix well together then stir in the puréed oranges.
- Butter or oil a cake tin. Pour the mixture into it.
- Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to one hour (convection mode). After about 30 or 45 min (depending on your oven), you can cover the top with aluminium foil so it doesn't get too brown.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Sprinkle over the roasted flaked almonds and coconut powdered sugar.