Orange-Almond Pudding Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This almond cake with candied oranges is really delicious. The cake is tender and moist, and the candied oranges go wonderfully with the almond flavor.

Baking notes:

  • Make sure to chop the candied oranges very finely, or they’ll all sink to the bottom and form a layer there. (It will still taste wonderful.)
  • I skipped the ganache and didn’t feel as if the cake were missing anything
  • Use a cake pan with 3-in sides, because the batter rises a lot while baking

Orange-Almond Pudding Cake with Chocolate Ganache
From Pastry Love

Yield: 8-inch cake

For the candied oranges:

  • 2 navel oranges
  • 3 cups (600 g) sugar
  • 4 cups (960 g) water

For the chocolate-orange ganache:

  • 3/4 cup (180 g) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about 1 large orange)
  • 6 ounces (170 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

For the cake:

  • 5 large eggs (about 250 g), at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups (225 g) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Make candied oranges (up to 2 weeks in advance):

  1. Slice the ends off the oranges, then slice the oranges crosswise about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices to the sugar syrup and reduce the heat to very low.
  3. Let the oranges simmer in the syrup for 2 to 3 hours, until they are translucent and the syrup has the consistency of maple syrup, gently stirring often to move the top slices to the bottom of the syrup. Otherwise they will stick to the bottom and burn. Test for doneness by removing an orange slice from the syrup and biting into it; careful — it will be hot! The rind should be completely soft and sweet and the syrup should be very thick.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the oranges cool completely in their syrup.
  5. The oranges can be stored in their syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Drain before using.

Make chocolate-orange ganache (up to 2 weeks in advance):

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and orange zest over medium-high heat until just before it comes to a boil, when small bubbles collect along the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and let the cream sit for 30 minutes to allow the orange to infuse into it.
  2. Place the chocolate in a medium metal or heatproof glass bowl. Return the cream to just under a boil, then strain it through a fine-mesh strainer directly over the chocolate. Let it stand for 30 seconds.
  3. Slowly whisk the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth.
  4. The ganache can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Make cake:

  1. Drain candied oranges. Set aside 2 or 3 pretty slices for garnish on the cake. Finely chop the rest and set aside separately.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with a parchment paper circle or butter the pan liberally. Set it aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until frothy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped candied oranges and vanilla and whip to combine. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, as well as the whisk. Whip again for a few seconds.
  5. Add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and whip on low to combine. Stop the mixer and scrape again. Continue to mix until the batter is homogeneous.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, rotating the cake pan midway through the baking time, until the cake springs back when you poke it in the middle and is firm to the touch, and a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
  8. While the cake is baking, if you haven’t made the ganache already, make it now and set it aside to cool. If you did, warm it up so it is pourable.
  9. When the cake is entirely cool, run a knife around the edges of the cake, pop the cake out of the pan onto a flat plate, and remove the parchment. Turn the cake right side up on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Pour about half the ganache over the entire cake, using an offset spatula to coat the sides evenly. Place the cake in the fridge, still on the wire rack, to allow the ganache to set for at least 15 minutes.
  10. Pour a second coat of ganache over the cake. Let the ganache set for at least 30 minutes. Place the cake on a serving platter. Cut into the orange slices and twist them into spirals; decorate the center of the cake with them. Serve.
  11. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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