It's amazing how you can take a few simple ingredients and end up with something different every time, depending on how you manipulate said ingredients. Eggs, butter, sugar, flour, vanilla; mix those together and you get a cupcake, or bread, or a pie, cake, cookie, the possibilities are endless. When I bake, I'm always amazed at how all these things go from being separate, simple ingredients, to a weird mixture where I always ask "am I doing this right?!" and then suddenly, BAM! Batter is made! You did it right! Simply magic.
This cake is very simple. Dorie Greenspan calls it "Swedish Visiting Cake" but I altered from her recipe ever so slightly, so I'm just calling it Orange & Almond Cake. The fact that this can be made with one bowl without a mixer was a winner for me. And using my hands to incorporate orange zest into sugar then slowly adding all other ingredients made it, and me, feel very rustic. Perfect for a snow day.
Orange & Almond Cake
(adapted slightly from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours)
What you'll need:
1 c. sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling
the grated zest of 1 small-medium orange
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 stick (8T.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled.
About 1/4 c. sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350* F. Butter a 9 in. cake pan, line with parchment paper, and butter that too. You can also bake this is a 9 in. cast iron skillet, which would really up the rustic factor. Sadly, my cast iron is way too big.
Put the sugar in a medium bowl. Grate the orange zest directly into the bowl and blend with the sugar using your hands until sugar is moist and smells of oranges. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Whisk in salt and vanilla extract. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour until well blended. Finally, fold in the melted butter.
Pour batter into pan, scatter with slivered almonds and sprinkle with sugar. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and a little crisp on the outside. Remove from oven and let cool slightly for 10-15 mins and serve! This is meant to be eaten with your hands, and preferably with morning coffee, or wine and your girlfriends.