With their crimson-stained flesh and blushed skin blood oranges are considered one of the most exotic citrus. They have the ability to add not only a wonderful rosy hue to these walnut cakes but also a lovely, slightly bitter flavour to off-set the sweet syrup – they truly are special.
- 75 g walnuts, toasted
- 1 blood orange
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 100 ml olive oil, plus extra to grease
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 150 g (1 cup) self-raising flour
- cream or ice-cream, to serve, optional
Blood orange topping
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 185 ml (¾ cup) water
- 2 small thin-skinned blood oranges (about 160 g each), thinly sliced (you need at least 12 slices)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). Grease a 12-hole 80ml (⅓ cup) muffin tin with extra olive oil.
To make the blood orange topping, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange slices and bring to a simmer. Simmer over medium-low heat, without stirring, for 10-15 minutes or until the rind become translucent but the flesh is still intact. Carefully remove the orange slices with a slotted spoon and place a slice in the bottom of each of the greased muffin holes to line the base. Bring the syrup back to a simmer and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the syrup reduces slightly. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside.
To make the cake, process the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor until finely ground. Finely grate the rind from the blood orange. Use a small sharp knife to peel the orange, removing and discarding any white pith. Roughly chop the flesh and remove any seeds. Place the orange rind and flesh, sugar, olive oil and eggs in the food processor bowl with the ground walnuts and process until well combined. Add the flour and process until just combined.
Divide the cake mixture evenly among the muffin pans over the orange slices. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Brush the cakes with the remaining warm syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature on their own or with cream or ice-cream.
• These cakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Kerrie Ray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Citrus.