Jutka Harstein makes delicious orange almond cake, a heavenly cake combining bitterness, sweetness and sourness.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 medium carrots, cubed
- 700 g (1 and 1/2 lb) pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, whole
- 1 and 1/2 litres (3 U.S. pints) vegetable stock or water
- 2–3 tbs brown sugar
- salt and black pepper to taste
- little red chilli, ground (optional)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated
- zest of half an orange
- zest of half a lemon
- half a bunch dill or marjoram, chopped
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) single or light cream, or coconut milk (optional)
- dill, finely chopped, to decorate
- saffron to decorate
1. Put the sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, onions, garlic and stock into a pot, bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook until the carrots are soft. Blend with a hand blender, then bring to the boil once more.
2. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. To enrich the soup’s taste, if you wish, add the cream (or coconut milk) just before the end of the cooking time, then lower the heat so it doesn’t boil.
4. When serving, sprinkle dill and saffron on top. The deep red colour of the saffron merges well with the light orange colour of the soup, and the green dill balances it all.
Jutka says: This ‘orange’ soup’s flavour is perfect. The mixture of the saltiness and the sweetness of the vegetables has to reach such a level of harmony that when you eat this soup you feel like melting.
You will need a round, 28 cm (11 in) diameter cake tin.
Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
- 2 medium oranges with thin peel
- 6 eggs
- 250 g (3 cups) ground almonds (if the almonds are bleached, the cake comes out melting in your mouth; if unbleached, it is still delicious but with more of a “body”)
- 250 g (1 and 1/4) cups brown sugar
1. Cook the oranges (with their peel on) for 20 minutes in water that covers them. Cool, cut into four, take out the pips and blend very well, either in a food processor or in a blender.
2. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites with 50 g (1/4 cup) of the sugar, until very stiff.
3. Beat (with the same beaters) the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar (200 g/1 cup), until they become light. Add the blended oranges and the almonds. Mix well.
4. Fold in the egg whites and mix gently until you get an even texture.
5. Grease and line the cake tin. Pour the cake into it and bake at 180° C (350° F), for approximately 1 hour. If you see that the top is becoming brown but the body is still really wobbly, cover the top with baking paper and reduce the heat to 160° C (320° F). Bake until the cake is firm. Note that this is a very soft and light cake, so it isn’t possible to put a thin knife into it to check whether it’s ready – the knife will never come out clean. Even when ready, the cake will be moist! I am warning you that determining the baking time requires attention and actual touching!
Jutka says: The cake tastes heavenly served warm or cooled.