May 4, 2015

A CakeWalk with Sharon Archer

I changed blogging days with Bronwyn Jameson who must have had baked delicacies on her mind because she put Sharon Archer/CakeWalk into the roster instead of CatWalk!  And since I've definitely had baked delicacies on my mind, I took it as an omen!

We went camping with a group of friends on the banks of the Murray River a couple of weekends ago...

This is our camp site!

... and Carol brought a flourless orange cake to share.  It was TO-DIE-FOR delicious! 

This recipe has been passed from friend to friend and now I have it, too!  Thanks, Carol!

I doubled the recipe because we've got visitors coming at the weekend and I've got a course on as well, so I'm planning ahead.

So this is the recipe...

Flourless Orange Dessert Cake  
(NB this has semolina in it so is not gluten-free)
  • 4 medium oranges
  • 370 gms butter
  • 2 cups caster sugar (unless you run out like I did, in which case 1 1/2 cup caster and 1/2 cup brown)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar (because I'd run out of caster sugar -see above!)
  • 2/3 cup reserved "water' from cooking the oranges
  • As soon as the cakes are out of the oven, heat sugar and "water" in saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Coarsely chop whole oranges (remove seeds) and place in a large microwave bowl. Cover with boiling water. 
  • Cook in microwave for 10+ minutes on high until orange skins are tender. (The kitchen smelled divine while these were cooking!)
  • Cool, drain oranges. Reserve the "water' for the syrup.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Prepare 2 x 22cm cake pans - grease and cover base with baking paper. (My cake pans were slightly smaller so I prepared a 6-muffin tray as well)
  • Heat oven to about 160 degrees C
  • In a bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
  • Mix in dry ingredients and orange puree.
  • Pour mixture into prepared cake pans. (I got a little carried away with beating in the eggs so I had to spoon my mixture into the pans!)
  • Cook cakes for 1 hour (I did the muffins tray for 35 minutes)
  • Stand for 5 minutes then turn out on to a rack.
  • Pour hot syrup over hot cakes.
Do you like the caption on the tea-towel?  I bought it as a gift for someone because it really tickled me... but then I wondered if it could be taken the wrong way so I kept it.  If you'd seen the kitchen when I finished cooking you'd know how very appropriate this tea towel is for me!
The little muffins!
Slices of heaven!

I was thinking about this and wondered if you could use polenta instead of semolina if you wanted to make a gluten-free version of this cake.  Any thoughts? 

So now I'm off to make a cuppa and have an early morning tea! 


  1. Oh, my word! YUM!!! Sharon, that looks divine. I'm really going to have to give this recipe a whirl. I do have a question, though -- I don't really use my microwave to cook much (just for heating things up), so do you cover the oranges when they're in the microwave?

    P.S. I have tea towel envy! :-)

    1. LOL on the tea towel envy, Michelle! I bought another one with a cheeky saying on it too so for my next Cakewalk, I see if I can remember to take a photo of that. I really did buy them as gifts but then a niggling little doubt started about how they'd be taken... actually, ya know... perhaps I secretly just wanted to keep them myself! ;)

      Okay, to your serious question, no cover on the oranges while I microwaved. I microwaved in 2 lots of 5 minutes on high and then in about 3 lots of 99 seconds until I was happy that the orange peel was tender.

      Actually, I've Googled on line and lots of the flourless orange cakes say to boil the whole orange for 1 to 2 hours. I liked the microwave way because it's much quicker.

      Do let me know how you get on!

  2. Oh, wow. So HUNGRY now! Looks delicious. I'm the world's worst baker so I might just have to pass the recipe along to a friend and ask her to try it!

    1. LOL, Louisa! I think you should have a go at this yourself - it might be the recipe that starts a new love of cake baking for you. It seems to be a forgiving little recipe. I did a couple of things NQR (like running out of caster sugar and thoroughly overbeating the eggs) and it's still turned out yummy!

  3. All I can say Sharon is, YUM, YUM, YUM.

    1. YES, YES, YES, Jen! LOL! Very yum... is it time for another cup of tea yet... I think it could be!

  4. Thanks for this recipe Sharon - looks fab and am definitely going to have to try it. Just as soon as I figure out where the hell to buy semolina.....

    I had a fridge magnet at while back that said - dull women have clean houses. I loved it. But like you I got a little second-thoughty when my neat freak sister-in-law came to stay and took it down.... I still miss it :-)

    1. Hi Amy, that's hopefully easy - I just found it in the baking aisle at the supermarket!

      LOL on your fridge magnet! Yes, look, the friend I bought the tea towel for is very neat and house-proud and I thought the tea towel was deliciously cheeky. But then when it came time to give it to her, I wondered if she'd be upset and think I was saying she wasn't tidy enough or that she was wasting her life by being tidy... by the time I'd analysed it up and down and sideways, I decided I'd just keep the damned towel myself! ;)

  5. Sharon

    WOW yummy I must try this one as well and I too love that tea towel I have had a few magnets that have had great sayings on them but I am not sure where they have gone to these days grandkids love to take the magnets of my fridge and of course I cannot remember what they said :)

    Have Fun

    1. Thanks, Helen! I'm sure you'll love this cake too!

      There are some very funny magnets out there, aren't there! And tea towels! LOL Your magnets must be making a second home with your grandkids!

  6. OMG, Sharon, this cake looks mouthwateringly amazing! And I can almost smell the oranges. Delish! Thanks for sharing the recipe. And I love your teatowel, too! :-)

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I'm definitely chuffed about how my cakes turned out. We finished the muffin sized ones for morning and afternoon tea and I'm looking for an excuse to get one of the frozen cakes out of the freezer. I think I should, in the interests of testing the defrosting procedure...

      LOL! That tea towel is a hit, isn't it!

  7. Sharon, that cakes looks scrumpalicious! I think perhaps you should make it for my next visit. No, that's wrong. I think you should DEFINITELY make it for my next visit. It looks so moist and yummy. Love the tea towel, by the way!

    1. Thanks, Anna! I think I should DEFINITELY make it for your next visit too! Count on it!

  8. Sharon, I'm so glad I had that freudian moment and typed CAKE instead of CAT because now I have this recipe to test! It is different to the version I've made, which did boil the oranges and that takes ages and I like RIGHT-NOW recipes. Also my version didn't have semolina, so in the interests of research I'm going to have to try this one. I know it'll be delish!

    1. Bronwyn, I was delighted with your Freudian moment with the roster! And since you were so instrumental in setting this topic for me and,in the interests of research, I think you do have to make this cake! I'll look forward to hearing how it turns out for you.