So many of you have asked for the recipe for this super moist gluten-free Mallorcan orange, almond and fig cake which often features on my restaurant menu. It is inspired by the fields and fields of fragrant blossoming orange and almond trees we passed through as we travelled via the extraordinary antique train – El Tren de Sóller – from Palma to the beautiful port of Sóller last spring.
2 medium oranges, scrubbed and roughly chopped
5 eggs, separated
200g unrefined caster sugar
225g ground almonds
3 fresh figs, cut into quarters or eighths (depending on their size)
A generous handful of pistachio kernels
Lemon zest for garnishing
Icing sugar for dusting
How I make it
Put the chopped oranges into a small saucepan and add 1 tbsp water. Cover and cook gently for 30 minutes or until the oranges are soft and the excess liquid has evaporated. Remember to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t catch.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 23cm springform cake tin with olive oil and baking parchment (the boring bit, sorry). Finely chop the oranges in a food blender to form a smooth paste. Set aside to cool.
Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in half the caster sugar for one minute.
Using the same whisk, mix the egg yolks with the remaining caster sugar in another bowl for 2–3 minutes until they are pale and quite thick. Whisk in the finely chopped oranges then carefully fold in the ground almonds.
Stir in three spoonfuls of the whisked egg white to loosen the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a large metal spoon. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and level the top. Carefully arrange the fig segments over the top, sprinkle with pistachio kernels and bake for around 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before garnishing with lemon zest and dusting with icing sugar. I serve this with authentic Greek yoghurt and fresh berries.