I had these beautiful oranges from South Africa that I wanted to do more with than just eat them as is. There was this orange upside down cake recipe shared on a Facebook group I follow that I had bookmarked, so attempted this cake one fine Sunday. Though the oranges are tenderized in sugar syrup before baking and they soften in the oven as well, they retain a trace of bitterness in their rinds, which goes really well with the sweet syrupy almond cake. I also modified this recipe to make a ‘Pineapple upside down cake’ later which was sweeter and just as yum. That’s a post for another day!
For preparing the oranges –
3 medium blood oranges
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
For cake –
200 gm butter
200 gm sugar
1 cup almond powder (Soak almonds overnight. Peel off the skin. Once dry, grind in a mixer to coarse powder)
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
2. Grate off the peels from the oranges a bit if you want to reduce the bitterness. Remove seeds if any. Slice them thinly into rounds and keep aside.
3. In a pan, mix the 1 cup sugar with water and dissolve. Bring the water to boil. Reduce to medium heat, add the orange slices and let them simmer in for about 20-25 min till they turn soft. Remove from heat and keep aside. Don’t throw the syrup away. Let it boil a little more to turn it into thicker syrup for drizzling on the cake.
4. Prepare9-inch inch cake pan by greasing with butter. You can line the base with parchment paper/non-stick. Line the orange slices on the base of the pan to cover the base completely. Drizzle some of the syrup on the slices.
5. Sift maida, baking powder, salt together in a bowl and keep it aside.
6. In a big bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and yoghurt. Fold in the flour.
7. Pour the batter into the cake tin lined with orange slices. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is set and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
8. Let the cake cool off. Using a knife loosen the cake from the edges and invert it onto a plate. Drizzle the orange-sugar syrup onto the cake to give it that lovely glaze. Cut into wedges and serve with love.