It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. I have many excuses but none that are extraordinary . I’m one of those kinda gals that needs deadlines and booked appointments. Otherwise things don’t get done. In this case, my deadline was that blood oranges are tapering off and will soon come to an end if it hasn’t already. If you’re planning on baking this post blood orange season, just sub in regular oranges.
I’m not sure who to give credit for this recipe. It’s a culmination of various almond cake recipes, tips and advice I received over the past few months since I seriously started my baking journey. The first time I baked this cake I was cursing and swearing in English, French and Korean. It kept sinking in the centre. What was I doing wrong? Just as I was with pie crust, I became obsessed and was fully determined not to be defeated. After a bit of research online and discussion, I realized that I was using the wrong size tin, and not enough egg whites.
I bake most of my cakes in 6 inch tins which produces gorgeous tall and slender cakes. Dramatic and oh so photogenic. But for flourless cakes dependent on egg whites to help it leaven and spread, the 6 inch tin was essentially too small, making the cake collapse since it had no where else to go except centre and inwards. Reducing the batter quantity just made for dry 6 inch almond pucks. I found the 9 inch tins produced perfectly moist and leavened cakes. I also added more egg whites than yolks to help soften the almond flour batter before folding into the stiff egg whites. The result was perfection.
I remember that fateful day, opening the oven door and jumping with joy at my perfectly raised almond cakes. I poured myself a cup of coffee, served myself a slice and cranked up my victory song.
“Waterloo – Couldn’t escape if I wanted to
Waterloo – Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo – Finally facing my Waterloo”
- 450 grams blanched almond flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 12 egg yolks
- 13 egg whites
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 table spoon grated blood orange peel
- 1 Grated lemon peel
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/4 cup or 250 grams white granulated sugar
- 1 cup blood orange juice (about 4 oranges)
- 9 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons grated blood orange peel
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) 170 grams unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- MASCARPONE ICING: (enough for crumb coat/naked cake)
- 1/4 cup blood orange curd (from which you prepared above)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) 113 grams unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 275 grams (small pack) of mascarpone cheese softened to room temperature
- 4 cups 500 grams of powdered/icing sugar
- In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over lemon juice and set aside
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir the blood orange juice, egg yolks, grated peel and sugar until well mixed and dissolved- whisking frequently about 4 minutes
- Add butter once mixture warms up and is lightly bubbling and whisk frequently for another 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is thick and bubbling
- Remove from heat, add the gelatin/lemon and whisk in well
- Strain through sieve onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Cover with plastic film so it touches the curd and refrigerate
- Grease and line with parchment paper two 9 inch springform pans and preheat oven to 350F
- In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the 12 egg yolks and sugar until mixture is light and creamy coloured...scrape bottom and sides of bowl
- Add the salt, 1/4 cup blood orange juice, almond extract and both grated citrus peels.
- On slow speed, add the almond flour.
- Mixture will be quite thick ... mix a bit more but with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture is consistent
- In a clean and dry metal or glass large bowl, whisk the 13 egg whites until you reach thick peaks
- Fold in about 2 cups of the egg whites into the thick almond mixture until the consistency is more pliable and easier to stir.
- Gently fold in the rest of the stiff egg whites, a couple cups at a time until everything is well mixed and consistent.
- Try not to over mix, however mix enough to make sure there are no lumps of thick almond batter.
- Pour batter into both cake pans evenly and bake for 35-38 minutes at 350F until cakes are somewhat firm in centre and evenly caramel coloured
- Let them cool 15 minutes before removing from pans and allowing to fully cool on wire racks
- Beat mascarpone until smooth, add butter and cooled 1/4 cup blood orange curd
- Add the icing sugar a cup at a time on low speed
- Lay first layer of almond cake, spread blood orange curd evenly and add second layer
- Crumb coat the entire cake with mascarpone icing and dress with flowers and/or matcha dacquoise kisses (recipe coming soon)