This Orange and Almond Cake is full of intriguing textures and flavors—a batter made from ground almonds and bread crumbs scented with delicate orange flower water and orange zest. Eggs are added in two stages: yolks into the batter and fluffy whipped whites just before baking to ensure a wonderfully spongy cake. Instead of topping the cake with an overly sugary glaze, David opts instead to spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the top. Even without adding sugar the whipped cream has a lovely, delicate dairy sweetness that plays off the cake perfectly. And when it comes to drink pairing, tea or coffee are great, but a small glass of sherry or vin santo would be even better.
- Juice of 3 oranges
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
- 1 cup ground almonds or almond meal or almond flour
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Whipped heavy cream, for serving
Mix together the orange juice, grated orange zest, and bread crumbs, add the ground almonds and, if available, a tablespoon of orange blossom water.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar and salt until almost white. Add to the first mixture. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into a square cake pan, buttered and sprinkled with bread crumbs, and bake in a moderate oven at 350°F for about 40 minutes.
Cool, and when cold turn the cake out and cover the top with whipped cream (about 1/3 cup). Very good and light.