Ready in: 30 to 60 mins
Great for Christmas!
Ingredients:[hd]For the cake[/hd]
2 large oranges
250g golden caster sugar
6 large free-range eggs
250g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
[hd]For the poached pears[/hd]
10 small pears with stalks
250g caster sugar
few drops vegetarian red food colouring
10-12 crystallised apricots
6-7 fresh figs
a handful of physalis, papery coverings pulled back
fresh bay and mint leaves, sprigs of
fresh rosemary, small edible flowers
dried cranberries, macadamia nuts
crème fraîche, to serve
- Generously butter a 24cm savarin tin or ring tin with a hole in the middle, then carefully line it with thin strips of non-stick paper, sticking them to the butter, so that the tin is completely covered (a bit fiddly, but you’ll be so glad you did it when the cake comes out perfectly later).
- Wash and prick the oranges. Place in a suitable container and microwave on high for 10 minutes, or until they are very tender and pierce easily with a sharp knife. Cool.
- Remove and discard the pips from the oranges. Roughly chop the rest of the oranges and put into a food processor. Whiz to a fairly smooth purée, then add the sugar, eggs, almonds, and baking powder, and whiz until smooth and thick.
- Spoon the mixture into the savarin tin. Bake at 170C(Fan150C)/350F/Gas 3 for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin, then carefully slip a palette knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it and turn out. If you’re freezing the cake, keep it in its tin.
- Peel the pears leaving the stalks intact. Heat the sugar and water gently in a pan until the grains have dissolved. Add the pears, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Add a few drops of red colouring to the syrup and stir gently until the pears are the colour you want. Cool and store in a plastic container in the fridge.
- To assemble the cake, turn it out on a flat serving dish. Fill the centre with drained poached pears putting more around the sides. Cut the figs down almost to the base and open them out, to look like flowers, then arrange around the cake, along with the physalis, crystallized apricots, dried cranberries, macadamia nuts, herbs and flowers. Serve with a bowl of crème fraîche.