Orange “Butter” Cake

I’ve made at least four other flourless, orange cakes for Passover but I’m always on the lookout for new ones. As published, this cake isn’t KLP (kosher l’pesach), but with a few adjustments, and a trial run, we made two cakes very successfully for this year’s festival dinners.

The recipe comes from Sherry Yard’s Dessert by the Yard. Butter is in quotation marks because she claims it has a buttery taste, but I call shenanigans.

Orange “Butter” Cake

To start, you need to boil two oranges: this softens the fruit (peel, pith and flesh) and takes away a bit of the bitterness. Next, the grated ginger, a full two tablespoons, is food-processed into a bit of sugar, then the boiled oranges are incorporated and ground into a fine paste. All of the structure and lift for the cake is provided by the eggs, which need whipping for an extended period (12 minutes) and become very, very pale and increase in volume substantially. For the dry ingredients, I used a toaster oven to lightly brown store-bought ground almonds. Everything is combined carefully in several additions, then the whole thing is baked in a springform.

Orange "Butter" Cake

Depending on your level of observance or tradition, you may omit the baking powder, and/or substitute matzo cake meal for the cake flour (or omit it completely). I tried it last week with baking powder, but without cake flour, and it turned out fine. For the two nights of Passover, I made it without baking powder, but with matzo meal, and they also turned out fine.

The cake has a wonderful orange and ginger flavour, and is drier on the perimeter than the centre, which is wetter and more moist. All three cakes that I made sunk in the middle during baking, so that’s to be expected. If I were to make it again, I’d try this recipe in a tube pan. Do let the cake cool completely before trying to unmold it, or it will fall apart. We served this with lemon curd, but it’s delicious on its own.

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