French Taste

Laura Calder's new cookbook, French Taste Elegant Everyday Eating, has arrived and it is lovely. Mark Holmes chose a sweet and nutty cake to make for Sunday Afternoon Tea at the shop following the Sun Run today. Found on page 238, this recipe for Orange Almond Cake is a delicious flourless cake that pairs nicely with a bold cup of black tea and milk. The recipe is straight forward and easy to prepare. Mark doubled the recipe as seen in the picture attached.

Hope you enjoy!

Do not miss your chance to meet Laura when she comes May 11th, 2009. See our event page for more details or call us directly at 604-688-6755.


Makes: 6 to 8 servings

For the Cake

6 eggs
3/4 cup (155 g) sugar
Zest of 3 oranges
1 1/2 cups (200 g) almonds, ground
1/2 cup (95 g) sugar
A spoonful of Grand Marnier (optional)

For the candied zest

2 oranges
1 cup (200 g) sugar

For the syrup

Juice of 3 oranges

Whipped cream, for garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9- or 10-inch spring form pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

For the cake, separate the eggs into two large bowls. Beat the yolks with the sugar and zest until very thick, pale, and ribbony, then stir in the almonds. Beat the whites to stiff peaks. Stir a spoonful of the whites into the yolk mixture, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until set, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then unmold onto a serving platter.

For the syrup, boil the juice and sugar together in a saucepan for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the liqueur (if using). Spoon lowly over the cake, letting the syrup soak in.

For the candied zest, remove the peel from the oranges with a knife or vegetable peeler. Using a very sharp knife, remove all the bitter white pith from the back and discard. Cut the peels into fine julienne, and put in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, drain, and rinse. Now do that two more times to remove the bitterness from the zests. Put the sugar in the saucepan with 2 tablespoons water and boil, swirling the pan gently but not stirring, until the caramel turns a rich, golden color. Ad 1/2 cup water along with the zests, and boil until the zest is translucent and candy coated, 5 to 10 minutes. The zest will be sweet and chewy with intense orange flavor. Pull from the syrup with a fork, and arrange on top of the cake. Serve with whipped cream.