Gateau A L’Orange Et Aux Amandes (Orange and Almond Spongecake)

Gateau A L'Orange Et  Aux Amandes

I recently enjoyed four days off work. On Tuesday, after having lunch in the city with Mum, we wandered in one of the department stores. I say wandered, because I practically dragged mum to the Kitchen Appliances. I could never afford a Kitchen Aid; they are expensive and up until recently I was only casually employed. In the space of a few months last year I gained permanent employment and I graduated with a Masters Degree. I started saving, deciding that the Kitchen Aid would be a gift for myself. I saved up vouchers and put money aside each week for 7 months. I sacrificed buying books, cosmetics and even shoes!  On Tuesday, I finally took the plunge and purchased my own Candy Apple Red Kitchen Aid.

I’m smitten. It’s so pretty. I like that I can look at it and know that, not only did I save up, but it represents a significant achievement.

I was then  presented with a dilemma. I didn’t know what to make. There was so much I wanted to make with it, I didn’t know where to start. I was looking through my collection of magazine cut outs and photocopies and I came across Julia Child’s lovely Gateau A L’Orange Et Aux Amandes (Orange and Almond Spongecake). It was published in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I had photocopied the Chocolate and Almond Cake, and this recipe appeared just before. I had an abundance of oranges and knew I had found my recipe.

The cake is lovely and rich. It’s incredibly moist and would be perfect with a dollop of mascarpone cream.

Ingredients:

  • 115g Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • Grated Rind of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup strained orange juice
  • 1/3 Almond Meal
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 3 Eggs Whites Beaten to Stiff Peaks

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Butter and flour the cake pan.

2. Melt the butter and set aside.

3. Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the grated orange rind and orange juice. Beat until the mixture is light and foamy. The originally recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract but I really don’t think it’s necessary.

4. Beat in the almonds and the flour.

5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cool, melted butter in the cake batter, leaving out the milky residue at the bottom of the saucepan.

6. Stir 1/4 of the eggs whites into the batter. Delicately fold in the remaining egg whites.

7. Turn into the prepared tin and run the batter all the way up to the rim. The cake does not rise in the oven.

8. Bake f0r 30 to 35 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes. Turn out to a cake rack and let it cool for 2 hours.

10. Serve. The cake can be iced  (Alex has posted a great cream cheese icing) and decorated with citrus peel. Alternatively you can serve it with a marmalade or apricot glaze and serve with a dollop of cream. I feel you need a finishing touch with some bite to cut through the dense sweetness of the cake.

11. Enjoy!

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