After a failed attempt at making orange marmalade as part of my Christmas gifts (Seville oranges weren’t in season and I had no previous experience of jam making but more on that some other time), I was left with a number of oranges – about 4  – for which I had no immediate plan. Orange juice seemed wasteful as I would be discarding the skins, eating the orange felt like far too much work (all the peeling and orange smelling fingers and whatnot).

Turning to the internet for help, I visited one of the most inspiring sites out there, Tastespotting, to get some ideas (read: recipes) to use. And I wasn’t disappointed, as it returned a lovely orange flourless cake that uses the entire orange (minus seeds) and an orange and orange blossom ice cream.

sweet oranges and bitter chocolate

The cake baked into a lovely golden colour, even if it is a little dense – this could be because in halving the recipe, I replaced half an egg with ground flax seed, which seems to always make for heavier results. I will be making it again, however, not only because the idea of using a whole orange in it is an incredible revelation for me (and something I shall be trying with other recipes as well), but also because it is free from flour and butter, making it almost healthy.

The ice cream was also a means of trying out the new ice cream maker that my friend Nancy got me for Christmas. It went OK, and in spite of the orange blossom water seeming a bit overpowering at first, it isn’t – it just makes it quite light and exotic.

To complement the sweetness of these two, I tried a Heston Blumenthal and Hervé This recipe for Chocolate Chantilly – I wanted a really bitter chocolate flavour. I think I may have overwhipped it slightly, as it looks a bit grainy; it doesn’t taste grainy at all, just airy and chocolate-y.

I will post the recipes I altered, otherwise I shall just link to the blog posts I found them in, as they definitely deserve to be read.

Flourless Orange Cake
adapted from Scandi Foodie
1 orange
1 egg, room temperature
1 /2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 1/2 tbsp warm water
100 g sugar
160 g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees C.
Grease two 6″ round sandwich tins (I used olive spread).
Put the orange in a saucepan, cover it with cold water and bring to the boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then rinse and repeat. Rinse and cut into chunks, removing seeds. Blend.
Mix ground flax seed with warm water, add egg and sugar and whisk until light in colour and thickened. Add blended orange, ground almonds and baking powder.
Pour mixture into the prepared tins and bake for about 40 minutes or until sides start to come away from the pan.
Let cool in cake tins for 5 mins, then remove and place over rack until cool.
Orange and Orange Blossom Water Ice Cream
Recipe from Lost Past Remembered (article worth reading).
Chocolate Mousse (or Chocolate Chantilly)
Taken from Café Fernando.

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