I try to keep my finger on the pulse of a range of food magazines/outlets in the US, UK and Australia, as I find they have the best overall presentation and easy food preparation. (Note: I’m always open to new sources of inspiration!) Our recipe this week for an Almond and Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Curd comes from Rachel Manley, one of the editors at the BBC Food website. If you’ve never visited the website, it is a treasure trove of information on food — recipes, techniques and news. I love it! I loved the idea for Rachel’s cake because it’s a simple, no frills two-layer cake with a beautiful filling that keeps and travels well. If you can’t find blood oranges at your usual shopping place, you can try regular oranges, lemons or any citrus you like. — Kristina
About Rachel: Rachel lives in the middle of the glorious melting pot that is Brixton, home to one of the best markets in London. She spends most of her time in the kitchen, either cooking for friends and family or for her secret supper/brunch club where 12 people cram into her flat for some delicious food and good chat. When she’s not cooking, she works for the BBC Food website editing lots of recipes, going to photoshoots and thinking about SEO. You can find her on Twitter or see what she’s been cooking on her blog.
CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!
Almond and Yogurt Cake with Blood Orange Curd
This recipe makes more curd than you will need for the cake — spread any leftovers on toast or fold into softly whipped cream for a quick dessert. It’s best to make the orange curd a day in advance to give it a chance to cool and thicken.
Blood Orange Curd Ingredients
- 2 blood oranges, zest and juice
- 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
- 9 tablespoons (125g) butter, cut into cubes
- 3 eggs, beaten
Almond and Yogurt Cake Ingredients
- 3/4 cup (150g) Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 cup (125ml) sunflower oil
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) self-raising flour (to make your own, 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder plus 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of flour)
- 3/4 cup (100g) almonds, ground
- 1/2 cup (125ml) double cream or heavy whipping cream
- powdered sugar, to dust
For the blood orange curd:
1. Place the orange zest and juice, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water.) Stir the mixture until the butter has melted. Slowly whisk the eggs into the mixture until well combined. Continue to cook, stirring constantly but slowly, until the curd has thickened and looks like custard (don’t let it boil, otherwise the mixture will curdle). This should take about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes; the mixture should thicken slightly.
2. Strain the curd through a sieve into sterilized jars, and leave to cool completely, then store in the fridge. After a couple of hours, the curd should look like thick custard. You can keep it in the fridge for a few weeks.
For the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Grease and line two 8-inch (20cm) cake pans.
2. Whisk the yogurt, oil, vanilla, and sugar together until smooth; whisk in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour and ground almonds. Divide the mixture between the two cake pans and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake rises and the top is springy to the touch.
3. Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside to cool in their pans for five minutes. Then run a palette around the edge of the tin and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack to completely cool.
4. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
To assemble the cake:
1. Place one of the cakes onto a serving plate or cake stand and spread with the double cream, then carefully spread with the orange curd. Top with the other cake, upside down so that you have a nice, flat top.
2. Dust with powdered sugar.
Photography by Kristina Gill. Orange bowl from the Russian Market in Phnom Penh; almond dish is a salt cellar by Andrea Brugi; cake stand by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion; white small pebble bowl and ash and white bread plates by mud australia; all other items flea market/eBay finds.
Why Rachel Chose This Recipe
I love making cakes. They involve minimal effort for maximum effect, a sure-fire way to make you feel like an accomplished cook. This is a variation of a recipe I use often — sunflower oil and yoghurt make it really moist, and I usually add a handful of ground almonds to make it extra dense. (The cake also, unsurprisingly, keeps really well.) Here, I’ve sandwiched it with whipped cream and a homemade blood orange curd, making the most of the short season. Eat thick slices of this cake with a pot of Earl Grey tea, or even better, Lady Grey.