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Photo by Tara Stevens
2 of 2
Photo by Tara Stevens
This is an adaptation of an orange almond cake that I make at the Courtyard Kitchen cooking school during the winter, when citrus fruits are in their prime. It’s originally a Sephardic dish and uses almonds instead of flour, so it’s great for coeliacs. The dish has proven so popular—not just for dessert, but for breakfast too—that I now adapt the fruit according to the season and have one on the go pretty much any time I have guests in the house. It’s perfect picnic fodder, too.
- 6 eggs
- Pinch of salt
- 235g caster sugar
- 475g ground almonds
- 500g peaches or nectarines (stoned, peeled and diced small)
- 15g baking powder
- 2 tsp rose essence
- Icing sugar to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 22cm round bundt, or spring-form cake tin. In the case of the latter, line the base and side with baking paper.
2. Separate the fruit into two bowls (about 2/3 in one, and 1/3 in the other).
3. Beat the eggs, salt, sugar and rose essence on a high speed for at least 10 minutes until they are thick and glossy.
4. Place the ground almonds and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Then, using a metal spoon, gently fold a small amount of the almond mix into the egg mix, followed by the fruit (from the bowl two-thirds full). Repeat until all three ingredients are well combined.
5. Pour into the prepared tin.
6. Bake for 55 minutes, checking the cake is cooked by inserting a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean and dry, the cake is cooked. If still sticky, cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
7. Cool the cake in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. When cool, top with the remaining fruit or, as I do, dried rose buds, and sieve over with icing sugar before serving. A sprig of mint will finish it off a treat.
Serving suggestion: This cake is very moist, but I like to serve a bowl of crème fraîche on the side to cut through the sweetness.
What to watch out for this month at the market: Stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines and almonds.
Tara Stevens is a food writer and cook who splits her time between Barcelona and her little cooking school in the Fez Medina. Passionate about Spanish and Moroccan cuisine, she takes traditional recipes and gives them a modern makeover using local and seasonal ingredients.
Follow Tara on Instagram @courtyardkitchenfez and Twitter @taralstevens.