An old world cake for the Passover and Easter holidays—Orange & Almond Cake is a delightful and simple cake. Discovering a vintage recipe cookbook is always a little jewel. Somewhere in my web-wanderings I discovered a middle eastern cake comprised of nothing more than whole oranges, ground almonds, eggs and some sugar, this cake intrigued me.
The recipe originated in a now very au courant themed cookbook that was orginally published in 1968 titled “A Book of Middle Eastern Food” by Claudia Roden. With a love of foods from those regions I jumped on Amazon to order an original copy from a vintage book seller. Many of the vintage and Goodwill stores, etc. sell the donated copies, many are collectable, usually the shipping is more than the book. I have found great vintage cookbooks many using this method and really cherish having an original copy, yellowed pages and all.
In each of these vintage cookbooks there is much much cooking knowledge, especially on the history of the recipes. In these short-attention-span days, information packed cookbooks have all but vanished, giving way to lush food photography, much like my series of cookbooks. Caludia’s cookbook has no photographs, just some charming pen drawings. The book is a treat for any one wishing to take a deeper dive into the history of Middle Easter cuisine.
WHOLE ORANGE CAKE
This cake originates from Sephardic Jewish recipes, which as noted, are distinct from Middle Eastern cooking, both include the cooking of the regions. This cake is an example of one that may be made during the passover, using ground almonds instead of flour. The cake is dense, almost a pudding, rich with deep citrus notes. The key is using whole oranges, which have been boiled until softened, then placing them in a food processor to create a thick, citrus puree. With eggs and a few remainder of the ingredients you have an amazing cake to bake. Lovely as dessert served with fresh vanilla cream.
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Happy Spring Holidays from Bijouxs.
As always, enjoy. B