Customs vary immensely the world over, but some are the same regardless of where you are. When visiting friends for a meal, a little gift is customary. If it´s home made, so much the better, especially if it´s edible.
My mum passed a recipe on to me when I was last in London. She thought it would appeal because the finished cake is not too sweet (she knows I don´t have a hugely sweet tooth), uses oil instead of butter (so much easier here where butter is rarely used) and contains ingredients which are local to Andalucía – oranges, almonds and raisins. Perfect, all I needed was a chance to make it.
Easter weekend was a mix of quiet and hectic for us. Saturday found us heading across the “frontier” from Málaga province to Granada, to a remote area to join some friends in their Cortijo for lunch and a walk. More of the walk another day as I got rather carried away taking photos.
The cake was made the night before and was a huge hit. It´s very moist and is a cross between a cake and a dessert and would also be perfect served with whipped cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.
- 150g raisins soaked in 50ml of amaretto (warm the amaretto and leave the raisins in soak for at least an hour) If you don´t want to use alchohol, a delicate tea would also be perfect for soaking.
- 2 oranges (as bitter as you can find)
- 4 eggs
- 180g caster sugar
- 150g ground almonds (I left mine quite coarse, it´s up to you how fine you grind them, this cake the cake a nutty texture and a rougher look on the top)
- 150g self raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
- 50ml olive oil
- 2 tsp icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 and line a 24cm springform tin.
Place the whole oranges in a saucepan of water and ensure they are covered. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender. Blitz 1½ oranges until finely chopped, reserve. Squeeze the juice from the remaining half orange then set the juice aside.
Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy then whisk in the sugar. Fold in the almonds and olive oil then sieve in the flour then fold in. Gently stir in the pulped oranges and half the raisins and pour the mixture into the tin, spooning the remaining raisins over the top of the cake.
Bake for about 60 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven but keep in the tin. Place the juice of half the orange and the icing sugar in a pan and dissolve the sugar. Pierce the cake all over with a skewer and pour the orange syrup over. Leave in the tin to cool then remove and enjoy.
PS. I think this would also be great made with polenta!