Thursday, September 4, 2014

Julia Child’s Orange Almond Cake

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Sometimes one of my favorite things to do is read cookbooks and try making something new.  The other night I was sitting on the front porch pouring through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  So many of the recipes are daunting.  Crazy weird ingredients and techniques but at the same time some amazing recipes.  I’ve made a few of the recipes like the Beef Bourguignon and I have also made the Tarte Au Citron or a Lemon Tart  and they were both amazing.  Last night I attempted the recipe found on page 676 called Gateau A L’Orange Et Aux Amandes or Orange Cake with Almonds. 


Do you remember the movie Julie & Julia?  It came out in 2009 and was based on two books.

        Julie & Julia    

The first book was the autobiography written by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme  called My Life in France and the second was Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen which was a memoir written by Julie Powell.  She set out to make each and every of the 524  recipes in the iconic cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking written by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck and she blogged about it.  Her blog grew and became very popular as she attempted to do this.  Amazing to me that she actually cooked all of the recipes.

So after coming home from Costco yesterday with a giant container of what will probably be the last of the summer’s season for strawberries, I was feeling somewhat inspired to do something different and delicious with them and I remembered the Orange Almond Cake recipe from my evening of cookbook reading on the porch and decided Hey why not?  Let’s whip up a couple of Julia’s cakes and see what we get.   Well, the cakes turned out great and the strawberries with the orange and almond cake combination was amazing!


Here’s the recipe.

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Gateau A L’Orange Et Aux Amandes  Or Orange Cake with Almonds


Makes one round cake.  I doubled the recipe and made two cakes but the recipe listed below is for just one cake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

A round cake pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches

1/4 pound of butter (one stick)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks  ( save the egg white, you will need them later)

The grated rind of 1 orange (I used 1/2 tsp. of  orange extract)

1/3 cup orange juice

1/4 tsp. almond extract

3/4 cup pulverized almonds ( I used almond flour)

1/2 cup cake flour ( I used Gold Medal Unbleached flour)

3 egg whites

Pinch salt

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

Butter and flour the cake pan.  Measure out all of your ingredients.

Melt the butter and set aside.

Gradually beat the sugar into the egg yolks and continue beating until mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a ribbon.  Add the grated orange rind, orange juice, and the almond extract.  Beat for a moment or two until mixture is light and foamy.  Then beat in the almond flour, and finally the flour. 

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and salt together  until soft peaks form.  Sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. 

Using a rubber spatula, fold the cool melted butter into the cake batter.  Stire one fourth of the egg whites into the batter and delicately fold into the rest. 

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Immediately turn into prepared cake pan.  Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.  Cake is done when it has puffed, browned lightly and the top is springy when pressed and a needle plunged into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes, until cake begins to shrink from the sides of the pan.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and reverse the cake onto the rack.  Allow to cool for one hour or two. 

.Top with some homemade Orange Flavored Whipped Cream.  Follow the link to the recipe I posted earlier on my blog.  Such a great finishing touch and might I also suggest that you might just like a dollop of that on top of your morning coffee tomorrow!  And don’t forget to add some shaved almonds on top of that whipped cream to really make it something special.

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And in my best Julia Child voice…..Bon Appetite!