The other night one of Robert’s friends invited us over for dinner with him and his wife, and I knew I wanted to make something sweet for the two of them.
I wandered around the market in search of ideas. Once I saw the cart full of blood oranges, I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I made a hearty, almost rustic almond cake and topped them with the sweet, syrupy oranges.
I love the deep color of the blood orange and the sweetness it holds; not overly tart and just slightly bitter from the pith. I cooked them in a syrup with hints of cinnamon, giving it a bit of warmth.
The textures in the torte are what makes it such a great dessert; you get the crunch from the almonds, the chewiness from the candied oranges, and the dry crumb from the cake itself. This recipe is quite quick, and I will definitely be using it again, with other citrus fruits as well.
Blood Orange and Almond Torte
makes 1 (9inch) torte
For almond torte:
40 g granulated sugar
113 g butter, soft
55 g buttermilk
100 g egg
3 g vanilla extract
150 g All Purpose flour
8 g baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
35 g sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
Coarsely chop the almonds, and in a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and almonds until there are no lumps. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract, then slowly stream into the sugar/butter mixture while mixer is running on medium speed, until all liquid is absorbed. Scrape bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Change speed to low, then add dry ingredients, and mix just until all ingredients are combined. Batter will be quite thick.
Grease a 9″ cake round, and spread batter evenly into round, and bake 25-27 minutes or until sides of the cake have browned and pulled from the cake pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan, and turn over onto your serving plate.
For Candied Blood Oranges and syrup:
280 g granulated sugar
150 g water
10 g dark rum
2 cinnamon sticks
juice of 2 blood oranges (about 80 g)
1-2 blood oranges, sliced 1/8″ thick
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot, and bring to a boil. Over medium heat, let syrup boil until reduced by half (about 20 minutes) and rinds of orange slices become slightly translucent. Using tongs, carefully arrange slices on top of your torte. Chill syrup until it thickens to the consistency of honey, then discard cinnamon sticks and drizzle syrup over the top of the oranges, letting it drip down the sides of the torte. Garnish the top of the torte with more sliced almonds, and enjoy!