Orange Almond Cake with Basil Cream

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Puddings are not my most favorite thing to make. I’m much more of a savoury girl, and often moan to my poor children that this or that is far too sweet. However I had a very dear friend come for supper who is gluten free, where normally I would default to just cheese and forget pudding, he is also diary free, so a pudding it was. Served with basil cream and/or marinated oranges. This is a mash of a few recipes, but works so well, and gets better and better as it become more and more moist. (Sorry hate that word!). Have a go, I usually make it the day before, and you feed it, it is then super indulgent for your guests!

Serve 6/8

3 oranges

225g caster sugar

6 eggs (I tend to use free range or organic)

250g ground almonds

4 tbsp flaked almonds

50g basil (leaves only)

50ml water

50g sugar

150ml double cream

1 vanilla pod

80ml freshly squeezed orange juice

60g brown sugar

A glug of whisky and a sprinkle of demerara sugar.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 and grease and 8 inch springform cake tin. Simmer two of the oranges in water for around 50-60 minutes or until super soft, take off the heat and leave to cool in the water.

Drain the oranges, and roughly cut them up, removing any pips. Blend them in a mixer until you have a purée, then add the sugar, eggs and ground almonds until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes. Cover the cake loosely with foil and bake for another 25-35 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.

For the basil cream, heat the basil leaves, water and sugar in a pan until boiling, simmer for a couple of minutes and then blend until smooth. Pass this through a fine sieve and cool. Lightly whip the cream and add the vanilla seeds from the pod, fold in the basil syrup.

Boil the orange juice and brown sugar until all slightly thick and syrupy, leave to cool. Prick the cake with a skewer and ‘feed’ the cool syrup into the cake.

Take the last orange, cut into segments and marinate with a generous splash of whisky and a little demerara sugar

Serve… enjoy xxx

Emma Longmore