Maybe, if you've been following me on Instagram, you'll remember the cake. It was (and still is) based on a recipe from an old issue of Gourmet Traveller (happily rescued from hubby who likes to throw this sort of thing away). After I posted it everyone wanted the recipe. I've made it a few times since, and have been tweaking it here and there. The major change is that I've replaced the flour called for in the original recipe so it is now gluten-free. It's what finally pushed me to start this blog, after many months of thinking about it and not a lot of action. You could certainly use almond meal instead of hazelnut - it's often easier to find. If you live in the southern hemisphere, there's not much time left to bake this cake!
Gluten-free Blood Orange and Hazelnut Cake
Blood orange topping/syrup:
210g golden caster sugar
120mL blood orange juice (approx. 2 oranges)
3 small blood oranges, thinly sliced (about 2mm thick)
350g golden (unrefined) caster sugar
300g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons and 2 blood oranges (approx. 1 cup total)
370g hazelnut meal
200g fine polenta (you could also use spelt or wholemeal flour)
6 large, free-range eggs
120g Greek-style (unsweetened) yogurt
Grease and line a 25cm / 10” spring form cake tin.
For topping/syrup: Stir the sugar and juice in a saucepan over medium heat, till the sugar has dissolved. Add the sliced orange and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. Strain orange slices and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the syrup, watching carefully till syrupy (another couple of minutes). Allow to cool.
Arrange the orange slices in the bottom of the cake tin and pour 120mL syrup over the top. Set aside and reserve the remaining syrup.
Preheat oven to 160C (fan-forced).
Beat sugar, butter and the rinds, until pale. Combine hazelnut meal and polenta in a bowl; add half to the butter and mix on a low speed to combine. Add one egg at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides between each addition. Next add the remaining hazelnut meal mixture, the juices and yogurt, and combine gently. Spoon over the orange slices in the tin and bake for about 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the tin before carefully inverting. Serve cool with the remaining syrup.
- The cake will keep for about three days in an air-tight container.
- Try not to be tempted to use coarse polenta (as I did the first time); it will result in a very gritty, heavy cake.
- If you're very motivated (and lucky) you may be able to find fresh hazelnuts (still in their shells), and make your own hazelnut meal. Give them a good bash with a hammer and pry each nut out if its shell; then roast them in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes. Rub the warm nuts between two clean tea towels to remove their papery skins; and pulse in a food processor.