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Orange Almond Olive Oil Pound Cake

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When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, orange cakes were quite popular. Today, you don’t see them as much, which is a pity because they are delightful.

This updated version contains fragrant orange blossom water, which adds a sophisticated element. If you can find it, use it, otherwise, I give instructions below for using almond extract.

This cake is also deliciously moist thanks to a glaze that is poured over it shortly after the cake has come out of the oven. This cake stays moist for days and days. Orange blossom water can be found at Middle Eastern grocery stores, or online. If you can’t find it, use almond extract.

They key to this cake is to gradually add each ingredient. Be patient and you will be rewarded.

Makes one round pound cake

1 2/3 cup sugar

Finely grated zest of 2 large oranges (don’t skimp)

4 eggs

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup orange juice

1 tbsp orange blossom water, or ¼ tsp almond extract

1 cup full-fat sour cream

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup almond flour, or ground almonds

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

 

Glaze

2/3 cup sieved orange juice (no pulp)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp orange blossom water

 

Orange Icing

2 cups lightly packed icing sugar

4 tbsp + ½ tsp sieved orange juice

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an angel food cake pan with removable bottom, or a Bundt pan.

In a mixer bowl, combine sugar and the orange zest. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed so the orange zest can release its oils and infuse the sugar.

Add the eggs one at a time, and then beat them on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. The batter will lighten, thicken and increase in volume.

Reduce speed to lowest setting and gradually add the oil (don’t add all at once or you’ll deflate the air incorporated into the eggs). Gradually add the orange juice followed by the orange blossom water or almond extract.

Add the sour cream all at once and mix until incorporated. Gradually add the flour-almond mixture ½ cup at a time, incorporating each ½ cup before adding the next.

Scrape the bowl and stir to ensure everything is mixed and then transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake about 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the 2/3 cup orange juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a large measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add the orange blossom water. Prick the cake all over with a toothpick. Pour over ½ the glaze. Wait 5 minutes and then pour over the rest of the glaze. Let stand for 3-4 hours, or ideally overnight.

Loosen cake from the pan and transfer to a cake plate (present the one baked in the angel food cake pan top up, the Bundt pan top side down). Whisk the icing ingredients until smooth and the consistency of thick buttermilk. Pour over the cake, letting the icing run down the sides. Decorate as desired.

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