This delicious, super-moist Moroccan Orange and Pistachio Cake has become the hot favourite for all sorts of occasions from afternoon tea to a sweet treat after Sunday lunch.  Just recently it has been an impressive afters on a posh beach picnic menu of pulled lamb, baked sweet potatoes and chick pea and lentil mixed salad.

Replacing butter or oil with fresh, zesty orange puree still produces a light, moist texture but less fat content.  Ground almonds replaces flour and a lesser amount of coconut sugar is added to the mix, enough just to cut the bitterness of the zest.  A few hidden extras are added in to make the mix a little bit more interesting – a dash of vanilla extract, ground sweet cinnamon, cardamom seeds and a little tipple of orange liquer for fun!

Finish with chopped pistachios or flaked almonds, sliced orange and a dollop of greek yogurt or coconut cream.  But be warned, it’s very moreish and seconds are essential!

INGREDIENTS :

3 large whole oranges (do not peel)

375g ground almonds

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

200g coconut sugar

9 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp orange liqueur

seeds of 6 cardamom pods, crushed

METHOD :

Add oranges to a large saucepan, cover in hot water, bring to the boil the simmer gently for 2 hours.  Remove, cut in quarters and blend in a food processor until smooth.  Weigh 500g of puree mix, add to a large mixing bowl and combine with the almonds, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, liqueur and baking powder.  Mix with an electric mixer and add the eggs, one at a time, until the mix is a smooth batter.

Line a 25 cm round loose bottom cake tin with baking parchment.  Pour mix into prepared tin amd bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees (fan oven) for 45 minutes.

Cool in the tin on a wire rack and decorate with orange slices and chopped pistachio nuts.  Serve with greek yogurt or coconut cream.

Enjoy!