I tried blood oranges for the first time this year and they’re one of my new favorite fruits- even though they only stick around for a little while. If you’ve never had one they’re totally worth picking up a few, the flavor is more complex than a navel orange and the colors are gorgeous. I especially like the variation in colors from reddish purple to bright orange.
When I was looking for new recipes so I could try out the blood oranges I’d just bought, I stumbled across Rachel’s blog Ice-cream in the rain. I adapted her Blood Orange, Almond and Brown Sugar Tea Cakes to what ingredients I had on hand (I swapped ground walnuts in the cakes for ground almonds) and to U.S. measurements.
The result was a moist, dense, not overly sweet cake that is wonderful on a “meh” winter day with a mug of hot tea.Taste tested and approved by people who go out of their way for bittersweet (like me) and those with a major sweet tooth (like my dad), these cakes are a great way to make use of a fruit that becomes widely available only in late winter.
Blood Orange Tea Cakes
- 2 blood oranges
- 10 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1/8 tsp coarse salt
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, plus more for dusting
- 2 1/3 cups ground walnuts or almonds
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- About ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons bittersweet marmalade
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- Zest both oranges and set zest aside. Remove peel and pith and slice oranges into ¼” thick rounds.
- Place orange slices on baking sheet and bake (at 400°) for 20-23 minutes, or until orange slices begin to caramelize. Allow orange slices to cool fully on baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, beat together brown sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time (batter may appear grainy at this point but this is ok.) Fold in four and nuts
- Grease 10 standard-size muffin cups and divide batter among them.
- Using a plastic or silicone spatula, very carefully remove orange slices from baking sheet and divide fruit among cakes. (Each cake will have 1-2 slices of fruit on top.)
- Top each cake with a few sliced almonds and sprinkle with a little bit of brown sugar.
- Bake tea cakes at 400° for 13-15 minutes, rotating muffin pans halfway through baking time. The cakes are done when the edges are a deep golden brown and a tester inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean.
- During the last few minutes of baking time, combine marmalade with a few drops of water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 15-25 seconds until marmalade is runny but not bubbling.
- Immediately after taking cakes out of the oven, brush the tops with marmalade glaze. Allow cakes to cool for about 4 minutes in pan. Run a knife around the edges of each cake then remove from pan. Serve cakes warm or at room temperature.