Gluten free! Who needs flour when you can make such a moist, well-flavored cake without it. This cake comes from Jewish cuisine of the Mediterranean regions where oranges and almonds are important crops. Navel oranges are a good choice because they have few seeds, and the peel is not bitter. Boiling the oranges softens them, and changing the water part way through the boiling will ensure a fresh orange flavor.
2 navel oranges
1¼ cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
12 oz blanched almonds
1 navel orange
½ cup sugar
1 tsp finely chopped candied ginger
Place all 3 navel oranges in a saucepan, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour. Drain the water, fill with fresh water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 more hour. Remove the oranges to a bowl and cool.
Remove the green stem ends, slice the oranges in half and remove any seeds. Place 2 of the oranges in a blender or food processor and puree. Cool to room temperature before adding to the cake batter.
Preheat oven to 350°
If the almonds have not been blanched, cover with boiling water and let rest for a few minutes. Drain the water and squeeze the almonds between your fingers.
The almonds should pop right out. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands, buy almonds already blanched (peeled).
I peeled these almonds so you could see how much skin has to be removed. You really don’t want to skip this step if you are starting with whole almonds. That much skin is going to ruin the cake.
Put the almonds on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; when cool grind to powder in a food processor. Add the baking powder and pulse to distribute it evenly.
Oil the inside of a springform cake pan. Cut a strip of parchment paper and apply to the inside of the ring.
Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy and pale in color, 4 to 5 minutes.Add half of the powdered almonds, and beat to combine. Add all of the orange puree at once, and beat to combine. Add the remaining almonds and beat to combine.
Pour into the prepared baking pan, and bake on the center shelf at 350° for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove the ring and parchment paper. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before removing the metal disk from the bottom.
Puree the remaining orange in a blender or food processor with the ginger. Pour into a saucepan with the sugar. Simmer over low heat until reduced to a fairly thick paste. If you draw a line across the bottom with a spoon it should stay separated for a second or two.
Run a long, thin slicing knife underneath the cake to separate it from the metal disk. Position the cake over a serving platter and slide the cake onto the platter using the slicing knife you help you maneuver it.
Use a spatula to spread the orange glaze on top of the cake.