Weekend Baking – Almond and Orange Zest Dense Butter Cake
Want cake, but have no fancy appliances? No worries. All you need is a bowl and a wooden spoon to make my tasty Almond and Orange Zest Dense Butter Cake.
Spring has been dragging it’s heels somewhat this year. We’ve been getting one or two deliciously sunny days, then a week of cold and wet weather. So cold, in fact, that we still have both the family room and the kitchen fires going – most unusual at this stage of September. And not easy, given the scarcity of decent hard, dry firewood at this end of the season.
On the upside, this means that Stanley’s oven is still hot, luring me into the kitchen and encouraging the creation of delicious, carb-laden goodies.
A couple of months back I spent a wonderful few days in the South Australian Riverland region, meeting some dedicated local producers, and stocking up on some of their fine, premium produce.
One of my stops was at Almondco in Renmark. Almondco is a co-operative of almond growers in the region and processes and markets the crops of more than 85% of Australian almond growers. They have a fabulous ‘cellar door’ at the Renmark premises, called the Almond Hut, where over 80 different almond products are available to the general public.
I came out laden down with kilos of nutty goodness, in the form of almond meal, almond flakes, spiced, flavoured and sugared almonds, almond oil and plain almonds. These have been finding their way into various creations, but this Almond and Orange Zest Dense Butter Cake really takes the – er – cake.
This recipe is idiot-proof and anyone with a bowl and a wooden spoon can whip it up – no fancy appliances are required at all. It is not too sweet, with a rich, dense and chewy texture – the consistency of a good brownie.
It’s a great weekend baking project for those who want to get into the kitchen with the kids. Or those who just want something indulgent, and because this Almond and Orange Zest Dense Butter Cake is full of nuts it’s good for you. At least that’s what I told myself as I chowed into my third slice.
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 170 gms butter, melted, then cooled slightly
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ½ cup almond meal
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- zest of one orange
- ½ cup flaked almonds
- Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and line a 23cm cake pan.
- Beat the sugar and egg well together in a large bowl.
- Beat in cooled, melted butter until all combined. (If the butter is too hot it will cook the egg.)
- Stir in almond extract, orange zest and almond meal, then add flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until just combined.
- Pour into prepared cake pan and sprinkle top evenly with the flaked almonds.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the cake to loosen it. Cool on a cake rack.