This past weekend, my husband and I took a trip to the Bay Area for a very special event; an arangetram (solo dance debut) by a talented, young dancer. We were floored by her graceful movements and wonderful expressions and the program concluded with a well-deserved standing ovation.
Anyway, because this was such a special occasion, it deserved a fantastic cake. This recipe was shown on Martha Bakes, a few weeks ago and even though I was slightly apprehensive about experimenting with a new recipe, I just had to make this one.
I used a bundt pan, but you could make it into any shape you want. Also, I am no good at decorating cakes, so I decided to leave it plain. You could, of course, make multiple layers and slather them with your favorite icing.The prep-work for this cake is slightly tedious, but trust me, it is totally worth it. My kitchen and dining room were filled with an enticing aroma all through the baking process and I am sure you will love it too.
Egg yolks – 6
Egg whites – 6
Sugar – 1 cup + 3 tbsps
Fresh orange juice – 1 cup
Orange zest – 3 tbsps
Vanilla/Almond extract – ½ tsp
Finely ground almonds – 1 ½ cups
All purpose flour – 1 ½ cups
Melted and cooled butter – 1 cup
Pinch of salt
Butter and flour a cake pan and keep ready.
Using an electric beater, whisk together the egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar. Keep beating until the mixture is light and frothy. Add the orange juice and continue beating for a minute. Add the orange zest, vanilla/almond extract, and the ground almonds. Beat until the ingredients are all incorporated. Add the flour, little by little and add the butter. Beat for a few more minutes, until the batter is well-mixed.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and 3 tbsps of sugar. Keep beating until the egg mixture starts forming soft peaks. Fold a little of the yolky, cake mixture into the foamy egg whites. Slowly add the remaining cake mixture and incorporate with a spatula. Do not use a whisk or a beater as it will deflate the beaten egg whites.
Pour into the prepared pan(s) and bake at 350oF for 25-35 minutes. Check to see if the cake has cooked thoroughly and remove from the oven. Allow it to cool, remove from the pan, decorate with icing (if using), slice and enjoy. Bon Appétit.