This recipe almost didn’t make it to my blog and I’m still not 100% sure I should post it.
After searching the internet for recipes I was feeling uninspired despite the fact I had a bag of beautiful blood oranges sitting on the counter. Two days later I said ‘fuck it’ and decided to try a different approach.
If you’ve not heard of it, there are ratio formulas you can apply to pretty much any type of baking to create your own recipe. Michael Ruhlman is often credited for the ‘Ratio Method’ and has even written a cookbook on the subject, however, since I don’t own his book, but do have access to free info online, I decided to give it a go and make up my own goddam cake recipe.
My plan was to start simple with a 1:1:1:1 cake – equal parts egg, butter, flour and sugar. Essentially a recipe for classic poundcake, you can change the texture of the cake depending on which order you blend the ingredients. So they say. I think that depends though, on if you stick to traditional ingredients.
Which I did not.
I can’t do it. I just don’t know how not to veer.
My train of thought:
‘What if I crack open that jar of coconut oil I’ve had in the pantry for over a year and give it a try? Oooh ooh ohh – and what if I use that beautiful white Italian cornmeal I have instead of flour? Oh – maybe I should cut it with some ground almonds to give it a little more flavour. Oooooooooh – and THEN I’ll make a small batch of blood orange jam to go on top of the cake. But that will be kind of dark so what if I mix it with a light sugar glaze!! YA YA YA! This is gonna be awesome!!’
And that’s pretty much how it works.
For me, that is.
Anyway, I made this cake and photographed it, then I took it downstairs and made Sean eat a piece. Before he even tasted it I said, ‘Ugh – I don’t know why I didn’t just follow a stupid recipe!! This cake sucks!!’
To which he replied, ‘I really like it’.
And so, because I am married to the pickiest man alive, and he said he liked this cake, I am posting the recipe. Because who knows? Maybe someone else will like it too!
By the way, it’s gluten free and dairy free.
Blood Orange Coconut Cake with Blood Orange Glaze
1 egg + 2 yolks
100g coconut oil
100g organic cane sugar + 100-150g more for topping
100g cornmeal (I used fine-ground white Italian polenta I have in my pantry but any cornmeal will do)
100g ground almonds (mine were the No Name pre-ground kind)
1/2 C medium-shredded unsweetened coconut
4 blood oranges (mine were around 120g each)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 C icing sugar (aka powdered suagr/confectioner’s sugar)
– Preheat oven to 350º – grease an 8-inch round cake tin with coconut oil and ‘flour’ with cornmeal
– Zest and juice one blood orange – set aside
– In a stand-mixer beat eggs and coconut oil on med-high speed for 10 minutes – slowly add sugar until combined – add cornmeal, ground almonds, coconut, baking soda, kosher salt plus the blood orange zest and juice you set aside – mix until combined – pour into prepared cake tin and smooth top with a spatula or butter knife – pop into hot oven and bake 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean – when cake is done, remove from oven and let cool in the tin, on a rack
– Slice the peel and pith off of two blood oranges with a sharp paring knife – cut orange pieces into small segments and remove seeds – weigh the cut up oranges and then put in a pot with an equal amount of organic cane sugar (my cut up oranges weighed 135g so I added 135g sugar to the pot) – bring to a gentle boil and continue to cook at a gentle boil for 15 minutes – set aside
– Sift icing sugar into a bowl and whisk in the juice of the fourth blood orange – stir in the cooked blood orange/sugar mixture – spread on top of cooled cake allowing the glaze to drip down the sides