Cook this: Flourless orange & chia cake


I usually make one sweet treat every Sunday to get me through the week with a cup of tea at the end of the day, and made a really nice lemon chia seed cake last week. On the back of that success, I decided to go with another citrus and chia cake this week instead of the cookies I was planning to make, and found a recipe I’d cut out of a magazine a while ago for a flourless orange cake. I stuffed around with the recipe a bit (as usual) until it felt right for me, and what I ended up with was pretty good, actually, and not just for a gluten free cake! It was very moist and had a really punchy orange flavour. It needed the dusting of icing sugar to balance out the citrus tang. The almond and hazelnut meals were a great swap for flour, and gave the cake a great flavour and texture. It is  very moist cake – husband and I quite enjoyed it, but it’s probably not to everyone’s taste. If that’s the case, I’d recommend using a little less nut meal and a little flour instead. I wouldn’t mind trying this one again with mandarins for a sweeter taste and some chopped hazelnuts for to give the cake a more interesting texture (I like “crunch”) – probably wouldn’t change too much else, though.


(the original recipe I adapted this from said it made one 9 x 20 inch loaf cake; I used it to make a smaller loaf and 8 full sized cupcakes)
– 2 oranges
– 4 eggs, at room temperature
– 220g caster sugar
– 150g hazelnut meal
– 150g almond meal
– 3 tbsp chia seeds
– 1 tsp baking powder

1. Place the oranges in a large pot, cover with cold water, and then set over high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for an hour, until the oranges are very soft. Drain and set aside to cool completely before moving on.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line your chosen cake tin/cupcake tins. I used a loaf tin, 6 x 10 inches, and also got another 8 cupcakes from this mixture. I could have put all of the batter in the loaf tin, in retrospect, as the cake really didn’t rise as much as I thought it would, but if you’ve had an exploding-cake-in-oven incident once, you tend to err on the side of caution!
3. Quarter the oranges and place them in a food processor, blitzing until smooth. Pour the blended oranges into a large bowl, add the sugar and eggs and beat with an electric mixer for a minute or so, until totally combined and smooth.
4. Fold the nut meals, chia seeds and baking powder through the orange mixture, pour into your prepared pan/s, and bake until they pass the skewer test; I baked the loaf for approximately 90 minutes (probably could have gone with another 10 to be honest), and the cupcakes for 55 minutes.
5. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before dusting with icing sugar to serve.

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