Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Middle Eastern Orange Cake.

I just came back from my holiday/educational/spiritual trip to Jerusalem, Mecca and Madinah where i performed my Umrah (minor pilgrimage), and i really had a wonderful time at these sacred places!

Jerusalem is a beautiful holy city with magnificient views that will take your breath away. Places of worships - Churches, Mosques, Synagogues - are built near to each other in the city.. So why can't we just live together in harmony without any disputes already??!! And I especially love the cold weather..! A good place to escape from the hot and humid weather here in Singapore.

And i feel truly blessed to be given the opportunity to go through a round of spiritual journey in the two holy cities of Mecca and Madinah. The weather was hot (50 degrees!) and i fell sick a number of times, but nevertheless it was such a great religious and spiritual experience and i would love to step my foot there again. If God wills. Insyaallah. =)

I will post some photos of the trip at the end of this post.

I declare that i've fallen in love with the middle east!! <3

Now let's talk about the subject that we love so much.

Yep. Sweet food. Cake! 

I miss my oven while i was away. No kidding.

This Middle Eastern Orange Cake is very easy to make and totally gluten-free, as it is made of almond flour instead of the normal flour. The only downside? You have to boil the oranges for two hours. I boiled the oranges for only an hour and it's still fine.

You can conclude from here that i have the patience of a saint. Not.

The cake may look totally burnt on the outside after being baked in the oven for an hour, , but fret not!! Once you pierce a fork into the cake, you'll find how delicate and moist the crumb is. And it's all thanks to the almond flour! And the citrusy taste is not too overwhelming. Just perfect. This cake is really nice to eat, and most will enjoy it!

Rating: 7/10

(Adapted from Not Quite Nigella, who adapted it from Claudia Roden)

2 large oranges, washed (Or 3 medium ones)
6 eggs, beaten
250 g. ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
250 g. sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Icing sugar to dust if desired


Boil whole, unpeeled oranges, barely covered with water, in a covered saucepan for 2 hours (you can do this step a day or so ahead of time and keep the boiled oranges, once cooled, in the fridge). Discard water, allow to cool, then cut open, remove the pips (seeds and the whites) and chop roughly or pull apart into smaller pieces with fingers.

Preheat oven to 190ºC/170ºc fan forced and line the base and sides of a 24cm springform tin with baking paper.

Blend oranges and remaining ingredients thoroughly in a food processor. Pour batter into prepared tin. Bake for 1 hour. If cake is still very wet, cook a little longer. Cool in tin before gently removing. Dust with icing sugar and zest and prepare to swoon…


Now let me entertain you with the photos of the trip:

Luxury houses along the hills at Jerusalem.

One of the Churches in Jerusalem.

The exterior of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The magnificent Dome of Rock!

The Dome of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Wailing Wall.

I love the serenity of Jerusalem!

The street at Jerusalem.

We visited the Dead Sea too. A very beautiful sea!!

Wish i could float on the dead sea!