Orange and Olive Oil Cake ~ Using whole oranges!

Come January the supermarkets were flooded with oranges of every shape and size. We bought a ton of them home as we have two citrus fruit lovers - my hubby and daughter. We juiced the oranges, zested them, made marmalade and baked a lot with them. This particular recipe caught my attention especially because it asked for whole oranges to be ground and not just the juice or zest. Whole oranges?!! Fascinating! What a great way to get rid of excess oranges and also benefitting from the whole fruit! Was it bitter, you may ask. The answer is no! The cake wasn't bitter and contrary to what I expected, it wasn't reeking of the flavour of oranges either. The resultant cake was spongy and like a traditional sponge but with a mild yet unmistaken flavour of oranges. 

Now this cake can be dense if you don't pay attention to the details. The folding of the batter should be done very carefully as over mixing can result in a rather dense cake. If you love a simple sponge with a zesty addition to it, then this cake is for you! Although the dusting of the icing sugar is optional I highly recommend it as it adds a touch of sweetness to a simple-not-so-sweet cake, but you take the call!

Orange and Olive Oil Cake ~ Using whole oranges!
Prep time: 15 mins | Baking time: 50-60mins | Yield: 9 inch round cake

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Lightly grease a 9" springform (loose bottomed) round pan
2. Wash the oranges thoroughly - do not peel them! Yes we will be using the whole fruit, peel and all, except the seeds! Cut off the top and bottom ends and discard. Chop up the rest of the fruit (if you are using the seeded variety, makes sure you remove the seeds).
3. Pulse the chopped fruit in a blender or mixer grinder till it is thick and coarse and has some texture to it. Then add the olive oil and blend again till you get a fairly smooth mixture. Place the mixture in a mixing bowl.
4. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and add this in parts to the orange-olive oil mixture.
5. In an another bowl beat the eggs till fluffy, then add in the sugar and beat some more.
6. Gently add the egg mixture to the orange-flour mixture and fold until incorporated. Make sure that you neither beat the mixture nor mix vigorously or it will deflate the eggs and make the cake very dense.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50-60 minutes or till the skewer inserted comes out clean.
8. Remove and cool the cake in its tin for 10 minutes, then gently invert onto a wire cooling rack till completely cooked.
9. Dust with icing sugar, decorate with orange slices and serve!

Recipe adapted from here

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