I'm having oven troubles....it's really depressing. Our oven has been in this world for almost 30 years, and in oven years, I'm sure that's very very old. It trips the fuse after every 10-15 minutes, and my heart stops because an oven that suddenly gives up, can do nasty things to a cake gently wanting to rise up and stay there...
Thankfully, today, despite of all the oven troubles and a hovering nagging depressing thought that I might not be able to bake for quite some time now, my cake persevered
I took the recipe for the orange caramel from "Cakes and Bakes" cookbook from the Food Lovers series, while the cake is something I threw together, because I didn't have poppy seeds, and in any case they are prohibitively expensive here. I also think that almond and orange is a combination that is not exploited enough.
For the caramel oranges:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
25 gm butter
For the almond cake:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder(Actually I used 1 tsp baking powder, due to a miscalculation. I guess a rounded 1/2 tsp will make the cake moister, but I haven't tried it out)
Zest of one orange(optional, this cake is very high on orange, so can be skipped)
Preheat the oven to 175 deg C
grease a 9" round tin
Thinly slice the oranges.
To make the caramel, put the water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until brown and caramelized, immediately remove from heat and add butter. Pour it into the pan and press the orange slices on to the base and sides, overlapping slightly.
Also please ignore the fact that I am using a roti dabba as a baking tin...I will buy a proper tin, someday.
I made a small mistake here, I should have overlapped the oranges over the bottom edges, but was too lazy to cut another orange. Due to this, the caramel shows as a dark sticky blob on some parts not covered by orange. Not good in the appearance department, but it tastes great.
To make the cake batter,
Beat butter and sugar until mixed and light. Add one egg at a time and beat till incorporated. Add the vanilla,
almond meal, orange zest and mix. Add the milk and mix. Add the flour and baking powder and beat till incorporated. If the batter is too thick add a teaspoon or 2 of milk.
Pour into the cake tin.
Bake at 175 deg C. It takes half an hr to 45 minutes. My crust browned quickly while the cake was still under cooked so I covered the cake with a lid to stop the top of the cake from burning. Also the first time I inserted a toothpick it looked clean but was sticky to the touch, so make sure to touch it and see. If it's sticky the cake is not done.
The cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let it cool, then upturn it on a serving plate. Preferably a pretty one, and not the closest steel plate you lay your hands on, like me.