Monday, March 15, 2010

I Knew You Were Coming, So I Baked a Cake

I am always looking for make-ahead recipes when I'm expecting company. Especially overnight company. When Grandpa Shay visited, I wanted to have a treat on hand for the weekend, but I knew that it couldn't be something crunchy or sticky (he's still getting used to his brand-new teeth), nor could it be too sweet. And I wanted something that I could make two days ahead of time that would still taste good for a few days after that.

And then, very obligingly, Molly at Orangette posted this recipe for "Marmalade Cake," which is at its peak of deliciousness two to three days after you make it. Plus it has an old-world vibe which I thought grandpa would find appealing.

I would disregard the name; it doesn't tell you what is remarkable about this cake. What is remarkable about this cake is that it contains ground almonds and pulverized citrus and olive oil.

I don't usually consider cooking fun, but making this cake was. It was very novel to boil the citrus (I used two teeny blood oranges and a lemon) until soft and then toss it into the food processor. It was more novel still to add extra virgin olive oil (the only fat apart from the eggs and almonds) to my cake batter. And, oh, man, that was some good cake batter. The little specks of crunchy almond made it so good, I wished I could have eaten the whole thing that way.

It was good once it baked too.

One of the commenters at Orangette mentioned that she had grown up eating a similar cake with clotted cream. I just happened to have a jar on hand , so we tried that with it. It was delicious, but too dense to go very far. We ended up moving on to a can of whipped cream once the good stuff ran out. Next time I'll just whip up some cream with it. Normally I consider cake to be nothing more than a frosting delivery system, but this cake is all about the cake. Still, everything is better with whipped cream.

For all the folks who don't tolerate gluten, there is a version of this cake that doesn't contain the flour. I plan to try this recipe; it uses metric measurements, but that will be no problem for me, thanks to my handy kitchen scale. It's tiny, it's easy to use, and I don't know how I ever lived without it. Thanks, Kim and Cory, for picking that off my Christmas list.

You should get one. And you should make this cake. Not because it's the best cake you ever had, but just for the fun of it.

1 comment:

Annie Nannie said...

Yum! Sounds scrumptious.