ORANGE spice ALMOND flourless cake

Subtle sweetness extracted from Navel oranges...
found their way into a distinctive flourless almond cake.

This delightful cake was assembled with orange compote and almonds.
The addition of perfectly paired spices was enhanced by...
a spirited boost from an orange-based liquor.

In most parts of the Asian culture...
the ORANGE is apparently one of the most common food offerings.
It symbolizes a form of prayer as well as a wish for good fortune.

Considering our Japanese friends are in an incredible life challenge...
they are certainly in need for physical as well as symbolic offerings.

Therefore, I thought of dedicating my flourless Orange Almond torte to them.

A little trivia:
The orange that's not really an edible fruit?
Do you know this to be True or False?
In many of Japan's store counters...
Orange balls are displayed for reasons that have nothing to do with being edible.
These balls are filled with orange paint and are used as anti-theft deterrent devices.
At any time the store clerk notices some ‘perp’ trying to get away with any goods...
they whip the ball at their body so that they could later be later identified by the authorities.
Do we tend to take the orange for granted?
I think we sometimes do.
In most places, especially in N. America, it's fairly priced and readily available.
This was the case lately at my fruit market.
Some Navel oranges were looking and smelling mighty fine indeed.
There was a promotion applied on a volume purchase.
Off to the cash register I went with my case of oranges.

Primarily cultivated in Brazil, California, Arizona, and Florida...
the NAVEL is certainly one of the most popular of the oranges found in our markets.

Some may also relate to the navel as the Washington, or...
the 'Bahia Navel', named after the orange tree planted at a monastery near Bahia in Brazil...
as well as the 'Riverside', named after the first American cultivation place in Riverside, California.

Many confuse the Navel with the Valencia orange...so here's a way to differentiate them:
. Navel oranges have thicker skins and are sweeter tasting.
. Valencia oranges do not have the human looking belly-button aspect at their tip.
. Navel oranges are seedless and are much easier to peel and segment.

Here's how I seek out the best from the navel orange:
. Pick the fruit with the smallest navel.  Since the larger navels signify that they were picked overripe, they will certainly not last as long.
. Select the oranges unblemished and shiny skinned and should feel somewhat heavy.
. Remember, that oranges, unlike some other fruits, do not improve over time.

Here's the way I found that the oranges store best:
Place unblemished oranges along with an absorbent paper and into a plastic bag. Twirl the bag loosely and tuck the bag's tip underneath.  Store into the refrigerator.  This way, the moisture will not be dried out from the unprotected skin.  I manage to keep them fresh a lot longer this way.

I for one, love the sweetness of this fine orange, especially the navel variety.
At this time of year, I'll have at least one every day or so.
I've never taken oranges for granted...
so much so that I'll use up every part of the fruit.

As you'll read further into the recipe:
. the orange zest was used.
. the orange's juice was cooked out.
. the strained pulp was completely integrated for this cake.

ORANGE spice ALMOND torte cake
flourless orange and nut delight
serves 10-12 persons
note: Since every morsel packs a big punch...its best to slice smaller portions.

Click HERE for a PRINTER version of this RECIPE

(American / Metric measures)
Part 1 - Orange compote:
. 6  large Navel oranges
. 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar, packed
. 1/4 cup (60ml) water
. 1/4 cup (60ml) Grand Marnier liquor *
Part 2 - Cake batter:
. 1 cup (210g) granulated sugar
. 3 cups (390g) almonds (ground with skin)
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder
. 1/4 tsp. (1ml) sea salt
. 1 tsp. (5ml) ground cinnamon spice
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) ground cardamom spice
. 1 orange, finely zested
. 2-1/2 cups (625ml) orange compote (part-1)
. 6 xLarge eggs

* Other Orange-flavoured liquors: Orange Brandy, Marie Brizard-Orange Curacao or Triple Sec.

Other Sweetener...using HONEY instead of sugar in the cake batter:
. Replace the sugar with 3/4 cup (175ml) of raw non-filtered HONEY.
. Just make sure to reduce the orange compote by 1/2 cup (125ml).
. Also, add an extra 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) baking powder.
. Lower the oven temperature by 25F/4C
Other NUT variations:
Almonds can be replaced by Walnuts, Pecans as well as slightly roasted hazelnuts (filberts).
Other aromatic SPICES that pair nicely with oranges and nuts:
. Anise star, Clove and Ginger. Use quantities according to taste.

Use a 9 inch (22-23cm) spring form cake pan onto a baking pan to avoid possible spill.

Later: Pre-heat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5
Position the rack in the center of the oven.

Part-1...Orange compote:
...Making the orange pulp compote (a day ahead is best):
1.In a medium saucepan, cook down the oranges along with the sugar and water on MEDIUM-HIGH heat. As soon as a boil has surfaced, lower the heat to a very light simmer (one notch above the low setting).   Place the lid onto the saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes.  Afterwards, uncover pot to add the liquor, stir and leave uncovered for another 15 minutes.  Afterwards, turn the heat off and leave it cool for another 30 minutes.
2. Prepare a sieve lined with cheesecloth in order to strain the orange pulp compote.  Make sure all liquid syrup is strained.  This usually takes about 15 minutes.  Refrigerate until ready to use. 
  Set aside the orange pulp temporarily if making the cake the same day or refrigerate if making the cake the next day.  N
ote: Reserve the strained orange syrup for further reduction into a thicker syrup...or better yet, go ahead and make fabulous tasting Mimosa style drinks.

Part-2...Making the cake:
...Prepare the baking pan:
. Butter the spring form pan and line the bottom part with a cut-out circle from parchment paper.  Set aside onto a (non-insulated) baking cookie sheet.
...Dry mixture:
1. With the aid of a food processor, pulse together the almonds, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices  and zest.  Remove these ingredients into a large bowl and whisk.  Set aside.
...Wet mixture:
2. In the same blender or food processor, place the orange pulp along with just 2 eggs. Process until smooth.
...Combining BATTER:
3. Incorporate the wet mix into the dry mix. Go back to the blender and whip the remaining 4 eggs until double the volume is achieved.  Pour these beaten eggs also into the well's cavity of the dry mix.
4. With a spatula, gently fold and blend the wet and dry mix together until batter is well combined.  Do not over-mix. Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan.
5. Bake for about 55 minutes if baking in a dark pan or 60 minutes in a lighter pan.
6. Remove the cake pan from the oven.  Place on wire rack to completely cool (at least 3 hours).
7. Before unclasping the cake pan, run a knife around the perimeter.  Place a plate on the surface and flip it over.  Now, unclasp the cake pan. Remove the bottom part with its paper liner.  Place your chosen serving dish and flip it over once more to reveal the final result.

...Decoration (optional):
. Sift and spread some powdered sugar over the cake with an optional decorative stencil.
If you're wondering where I got this stencil...I designed and cut it out from a thin cardboard.   This is surely an inexpensive way to make your cake unique.

...Serving and Storing:
If you can imagine, this cake gets even better as every day passes.  The intense flavours have enough time to blend with each other in order to give you a smooth morsel of this delicious torte every time.
It keeps well at room temperature for 2-3 days. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, take out and serve at room temperature or better yet, warm up the cake on very low heat in the oven as your home will get that wonderful aroma once again.  This torte also freezes very well for up to 1 month.  Package it in a parchment paper and then slip into an airtight freezer plastic bag.  Serve and enjoy.

Add a festive cooler to your brunch table.
Break out the bubbly.
This sumptuous spirited Orange syrup was blended...
with some seltzer water for a very refreshing...
MIMOSA splendour.
For every glass, pour 2 oz. of homemade Orange Grand Marnier syrup
along with 1 oz. Grand Marnier and 6 oz. of seltzer water.
Add two ice cubes and garnish with a strawberry or a slice of orange.

I desire to convey to our Japanese friends, my heart-felt wishes towards a speedy recovery, as well as health and stability as soon as possible. 
I truly admire your courage.

For the rest of my readers...
I do hope you have a great week as well as have a chance at...
baking this wonderful, aromatic orange - nut cake.

Flavourful wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

More CAKE torte RECIPES that may interest you: