I had an orange in the fruit bowl that needed using up, and I suppose I could have just eaten it, but I decided I wanted to do something fun with it. So I sliced it thinly, simmered the slices in a brown sugar syrup, and paired them with a thick batter made with ground almonds.
The cake is lovely and moist, rich rather than overwhelmingly sweet. The overall taste is almost exactly what you'd get if you slathered orange marmalade on top of a cake, but the look is so much prettier, don't you think?
Orange Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from this recipe found on the blog Food For Four.
Orange Topping Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 large orange, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine brown sugar and water in a large frying pan over medium heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add oranges and vanilla; simmer for 10-15 minutes until orange rind softens.
While it's simmering, make your cake batter:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup almond meal (I just ground up some slivered almonds in the food processor)
Combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer and mix until mixture is thick, pale, and fluffy (about 10 mins?). Fold in dry ingredients, then fold in butter and ground almonds.
To bake, either arrange the orange slices (with their syrup) in the bottom of a cake pan then pour the batter over them, or, if your frying pan is oven-proof you can pour the batter right in and pop it in the oven. Bake at 350 for about 40 mins.