February 1, 2009

vanishing cranberry orange cake

Work was exceptionally busy this past week. It was my week to shine, or work really hard, to send my bosses off to a trade show. I barely had a moment of rest from 9:30 Monday morning until the armored truck guys came at 4:30 Thursday afternoon. Then I gusted a huge sigh of relief and decided to focus on fending off the last of this never ending cold that's been pestering me since the beginning of the year.

I've been having Mom's turkey soup with greens and lots of roasted garlic, the final thing I needed was a good dose of good 'ole vitamin C. In addition to my grapefruit a day habit I had a big bag of little tangerines, or mandarin oranges (I'm still not sure which), hanging around from my last grocery delivery.

There's a great company called FreshDirect that delivers groceries to the New York metro area, and after doing the math I decided to try them. Their product is great and their prices are good, and I'm much more comfortable with the quality of the meat than I am with what I can get in my neighborhood. And having the food delivered means I don't have to take an entire afternoon to pack ten or more pounds of food home from Whole Foods in the city.

Several of my past deliveries included a sample of 'peak produce' and these tangerines were sent as part of that program. As one who doesn't eat oranges very often I was at a loss what to do with so many tiny oranges. With this cake I found a great way to use them up, and to get everyone to eat a little more vitamin C. The Trainer and I took the fresh cake into our room and did a number on it last Saturday evening. I put what was left in the kitchen and several hours later I found a lonely sliver left on the plate. Of course, I wasn't completely satisfied with the first version and I whipped up the second one, which the Trainer agreed was better, and we managed to make that one last a week.

Cranberry Orange Cake
4 mandarin oranges (or 3 tangerines, 2 oranges)
3 eggs
1/2 c. honey
9oz (3c.) blanched almond meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. chopped cranberries

Wash the oranges well, place in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and drain water. Cover with cold water and repeat two more times. After draining the water the third time, fill the pot with water and boil the oranges for about an hour, until they are very soft. (boiling, or blanching, the oranges reduces some of the bitterness, allowing you to use less honey in the cake) After the oranges are boiled, drain them and preheat the oven to 325° F and prepare a 8 inch round cake pan, either grease is or line it with parchment paper. In a blender or food processor puree the oranges. Add the eggs and honey and puree again. In a a separate bowl make sure all the clumps are out of the almond meal, baking soda and salt. Stir in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until center is firm and edges are just browning.


Lauren Denneson said...

Awesome! I've been looking for more ways to bake with cranberries - thanks!

Kelly said...

I am fascinated by how you used the oranges! Sounds heavenly! Thanks!

~M said...

This sounds great! Do you know how much the oranges weighed? Also, what brand of blanched almond meal do you use? Bob's Red Mill or Honeyville or another?

Vittoria said...

I don't recall how much the oranges weighed. They were tiny, about 2-2 1/5 inches in diameter. I order my almond flour from Digestive Wellness. I find that Bob's Red Mill is not as finely ground as I'd like and Honeyville packages their almond flour in the same facility as all their other flours and I'm not comfortable taking that risk.

~M said...

Just wanted to reply and say thanks for responding. I recently bought the Honeyville blanched almond flour (maybe 2 weeks ago) and it says on the label "certified gluten-free" so maybe there is less risk of cross-contamination now than before. Take care!