Orange Cardamom Cake with Yoghurt Frosting

A good friend of ours has an orange tree in their back yard that is currently laden with fruit. Enter free oranges!
When you have a baking obsession and you have an abundance of something it's pretty much a no brainer that it's gonna end up in your dessert. Enter, this cake.

I've seen numerous recipes for citrus and almond cakes. Most of them are syrup cakes and use just the zest of the fruit for flavour. I've made a similar one before which uses semolina rather than almond meal which is lovely, but doesn't use up enough fruit to solve my orange problem.
I'd seen this mandarin cake recipe on Nadia's site a while ago but never got around to making it. After a bit more research I found several other recipes that use whole citrus in the cake. It was destined to happen from there.

This cake is unlike any cake I've made before. It uses the entire orange, skin, pith and all. This keeps the cake moist and gives it the ultimate citrus flavour. Of course I wasn't going to stop there. I added some vanilla and cardamom to spice things up, literally. Then to go even further with my madness I added some orange blossom water, coz why not?

Once the cake finally came out the oven I didn't drench it in syrup like most recipes call for. This cake is not sweet due to the orange pith giving it a slightly bitter taste. I don't have a problem with that, so the syrup was out for me. I still wanted something on top of the cake though. Cream cheese frosting would have worked for this cake but I wanted something lighter so I opted for greek yoghurt. I strained the greek yoghurt in a muslin cloth overnight. This basically removed most of the water content to give me a thicker yoghurt which was perfect for frosting. I then flavoured it with some freshly squeezed orange juice and honey to counter act the tartness and bitterness.

Choose sweet oranges for this cake. If you can't get any sweet ones, opt for mandarins, tangelos or clementines instead. They will all work for this recipe.

Orange Cardamom Cake with Yoghurt Frosting (Adapted from Nigella)
Serves 8-10
Orange Cake
3 small oranges, approx 375g in weight (mandarins, clementines or tangelos work too)
225g caster sugar
300g ground almonds
2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 pinch vanilla powder
6 eggs, beaten
2 tsp orange blossom water

Yoghurt Frosting
250g greek yoghurt, strained
1/3 cup orange juice
3 Tbs honey
pistachios/ pomegranate seeds/ orange zest/ honey to decorate

Don't peel, slice or chop your oranges. Place the whole oranges in a small saucepan and fill with water. Boil until soft. Depending on your fruit of choice this could take between 30-60 minutes. You want the fruit to be soft enough to puree.
Once soft, turn heat off, drain the water and allow fruit to cool. Then cut in half and remove seeds if there are any. Puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a large bowl place your sugar, almond meal, cardamom, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Then add your orange puree and eggs. Mix until combined. Lastly add your orange blossom water and mix it in.
Pour batter into a greased spring form tin. Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Check with toothpick or skewer to see if it's done. The skewer when inserted should come out clean. Allow cake to cool in tin.

To make frosting, place all frosting ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Once cake has cooled, remove it form the tin and slather on the frosting. Decorate with pistachios, pomegranate seeds, orange zest and a drizzle of honey.

Store cake in the fridge so the yoghurt doesn't turn. Warm to room temperature before eating.

Enjoy!
xx

Ugeshni