Thursday, August 16, 2012

Orange and Almond Cake with Botrytis Syrup

My three year old loves watching Olympics games and he is very sad that London 2012 is over...

Boy: Mummy, when can I see the Olympics again?

Mum: Four years later

Boy: "???"

I don't think my son really know the duration of four years but he seems to know that he has to wait very long again to see the Olympics games.

Mum: All good thing always come to an end. You need to cherish and enjoy them before everything is over...

Funny that our Olympics conversation on my last weekend has lead me to think that the Australian navel orange season being the best at this time of the year is also ending soon. I have to seize the time and bake this delicious whole orange cake before the orange season is over.

Unlike my previous orange flourless cake, this orange and almond cake is not a gluten-free cake and I wonder if the addition of flour will improve the texture of this cake. In actual fact, I was deeply attracted to try baking this recipe mainly because the syrup of this recipe uses Botrytis-style dessert wine. Typically, a Botrytis-style dessert wine is known as a late harvest wine. Botrytis is a mold that causes grapes to lose nearly all of their water content and wines made from botrytis-affected grapes are generally very sweet. Sometimes, I do enjoy sipping a little Botrytis-style dessert wine after dinners and I was using the excuse of baking this cake so that I can buy and enjoy the excess of this wine after this bake... LOL!

This Botrytis wine that I used for this bake is one of my favourites. It is from De Bortoli Winery from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia. Now, I'm enjoying a slice of this cake with beautiful wintery views from my kitchen before everything is over...

Before proceeding to the recipe of this cake, I have two things to mention in this post:

First, I'm happy to announce that I'm one of the featured foodies in Javelin Warrior's blog, Cookin w/ Luv and here is the interview that we had and published on last Friday (10 Aug 2012).

Javelin Warrior is a fantastic food writer and blogger from Virginia Beach and he is also the person behind two major blog events, Food Fetish Fridays and Made with Love Mondays. For his Food Fetish Fridays, he will share a list of his favourite food published within the week on most Fridays. I must say that I'm very honoured to be featured in his Food Fetish Fridays for more than once.

Second, I would like to announce the co-hostesses of Cook like a Star event in September 2012 and they are Anuja from Simple Baking and Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out.

*Clap clap clap*

So, don't forget to cook like a star or a MasterChef for September 2012. To join, simply cook or bake any recipe (from the contestants, judges or even sponsors) from any MasterChef websites or cookbooks (any countries) and blog hop with us for the whole month of September 2012.

I'm still looking for co-hostess for Cook like a Star for next year, 2013.

Please email me at if you are interested to co-host the event with me. Next year, I’m thinking of having Dorie Greenspan, Nigella Lawson, Giada De Laurentiis, Rachel Ray and Ree Drummond for the future themes of Cook like a Star. If you like any celebrity chefs and wish to have him or her being the upcoming themes of Cook like a Star, please feel free to let me know and we can discuss further via email.

orange almond cake botrytis syrup
Enjoying my orange and almond Cake with Botrytis syrup
Cooking the oranges
Making the cake batter
The Botrytis wine that I like
Making the Botrytis syrup
orange almond cake botrytis syrup
Ta da! Here's the finishing cake with the yummy Botrytis syrup!
Here's the recipe from
(with my modification in blue)

Ingredients (serves 8)
3 large (about 250g each) oranges
Melted butter, to grease
5 eggs
315g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar (reduced to only 160g in total)
200g (2 cups) almond meal (pre-roasted at 150°C fan forced for 7 min)
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
375ml (1 1/2 cups) Botrytis-style dessert wine
(I used only half bottle which is less than 200ml and enjoy the rest on its own :D)
Double cream, to serve (I didn't use this to serve)


Place 2 oranges in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Drain. Return oranges to the pan and repeat process (this will reduce the bitterness of the peel). Return oranges to the pan once again and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, adding more water when necessary to keep oranges covered, for 1 hour or until oranges are very tender. Drain. Set aside for 2 hrs or until cooled to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 160°C (or 150°C fan forced). Brush a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan (or two 14 cm cake rings) with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper. Cut oranges into quarters. Remove the white cores and any seeds. Place in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Use an electric beater to whisk the eggs and 215g (1 cup) of the sugar (I reduced mine to 150g) in a large bowl until thick and pale (I didn't use an electric beater to do this step but only process the eggs and sugar until sugar is well dissolved in the mixture). Use a metal spoon to stir in the orange mixture. Add the almond meal, flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan(s) and use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/4 hrs (I baked my 14 cm cakes for 1 hr.) or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, use a zester to remove the rind from the remaining orange. (Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to peel rind from orange. Use a small sharp knife to remove white pith and cut into very thin strips.) Juice the orange and place in a medium saucepan along with the rind, wine (mine is only 200ml) and remaining sugar (mine is only 10g). Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 2 min or until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring, for 2-3 min or until syrup thickens slightly (I prefer a thicker form of syrup and cooked mine for 20 min). Remove from heat.

Turn cake onto a wire rack over a baking tray. Spoon the hot syrup and orange rind over the warm cake. Set aside for 30 mins to cool. Cut cake into wedges and place on serving plates. Drizzle with any remaining syrup and serve with double cream, if desired.

Happy Baking
Cook like a star or a MasterChef with us for September 2012!
Simply cook or bake any recipe from any MasterChef websites or cookbooks...
... and blog hop with us for the whole month of September 2012.


  1. This cake is just gorgeous! I would love to try it one day :)

    And congratulations on your interview with Javelin Warrior's blog interview (August instead of October I'm guessing:))

    1. Thanks Medeja! Oh dear, I must be dreaming too much. I've updated my mistake :D

  2. Oh wow, the cake looks incredibly moist and flavorful! Love the bright orangy colour too! So the skin of the boiled oranges are blended in as well? Super orangy! Yum!

  3. Hehe kids say the cutest things. This looks so beautiful and syrupy. Citrus and almond cake is definately up the top of my cake food chain, as far as I'm concerned!

  4. Zoe, the cake looks moist and good. My orange cake is also using boiling the whole orange but lesser job by blending the whole orange to get the puree.

  5. This looks amazing! The cake is creaming orange which is a beautiful flavor for cakes. Love it!


  6. I remember feeling the exact same way about the Turin Olympics when I was in fifth grade. I went through all the Toronto Star newspapers and I collected all the front pages and I made a scrapbook!

    This orange cake looks amazing! The way you cook the orange first and blend it into the cake is so interesting. I need to try this.

  7. Drooling nw Zoe... this orange almond cake looks fantastic!!! I will bookmark this, thks:)

  8. Super moist and gorgeous looking cake. It's in my to bake soon list :)

  9. Wow! This is a very sophisticated cake. Looks good.

  10. Olympics and orange both start with O!

  11. Cake looks amazing with all that botrytis...ooh la la!!
    Congrats on your feature. Wonderful write up and nice interview. Way to go girl! *take a bow Zoe*
    Thanx for the shout out. M so excited. Can't wait to unleash the Masterchef mania :D.

  12. I love how rich and moist the cake looks. I can imagine the fragrance - the combination of the citrus and wine must be divine!

  13. Zoe, the cook like a star logo printed Dec to be the Cook like master chef month when in fact this should be happening In sep, right? Wow, you are famous now, Zoe! Will read abt your interview later! Your orange cake looks very tempting to try

    1. Thanks Jessie! I have been making lots of mistakes with dates lately... Ops!

  14. That cake is incredibly gorgeous and it looks so yummy and melt in the mouth.

  15. What a beautiful cake!!! The combination of orange and almond sounds deeelicious!
    I miss the Olympics already too!

  16. Zoe, that cake is beautiful! I love how tender it is, I can perfectly see that on the photo.
    Your three-year old sounds so lovely - children this age are a lot of fun.

  17. I am really impressed by this cake. Orange and almond is a divine combination! Great tutorial too!

  18. I dunno how the cake taste like but the late harvest is definitely good! :)

  19. The cake looks amazing, Zoe, and I love the intensity of the orange botrytis! It lends such a beautiful color and moistness to the cake. And thanks so much for the shout-out and linking back to the Featured Foodie interview - it was a real pleasure learning more about you and sharing with others...

  20. Zoe~~
    Ur son is so cute...=)
    Well done~~!!!

  21. Hi Zoe, have added a page on my blog to inform ppl abt the Cook Like a Star event in Sept.I'm very excited about it - have been looking for recipes to cook already.

    Recently I've discovered the joys of orange and lemon zest, love using it in my baking now. This looks like a gorgeous cake!

  22. Your cake looks so delicious! I can imagine the aroma that fills your house when you process the oranges! Plus the wine! Yum!
    Congratulations for being featured in Food Fetish Fridays! An interesting and wonderful interview! :0)

  23. What a stunner of a cake my friend, it looks incredible :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  24. this sounds like a very high end type of cakes although it looks simple with orange puree blended in and with that wine syrup, now i learn not only cakes here but wine also :)

  25. Now that the Olympics are over , I can now sleep like a normal person ! lol Yup , gotta wait again for 4 years :P

    Congrats on that feature ! I'll lurk oh his site later to read that interview :D

    This orange cake looks fantastic ! Love how moist the texture is and adding that dessert wine is a nice touch ....

    I got this recipe from Good Housekeeping book that calls for orange to be boiled for 2 hours as well but it only says 2 medium orange :P Good thing yours listed how much in grams :D Now I have an idea , thanks Zoe !

    1. Hi Anne,

      I like this recipe very much and agree that it is much more informative than some orange cake recipes.


  26. Love the sound of Botrytis syrup! This cake looks simply delicious! Gotta try it!

  27. That looks like serious orange business!

  28. I must go get myself a bottle of Botrytis and make this cake.
    I love how it soaks up the cake and makes it soooooooo tempting.
    I'm a sucker for almond cakes and anything citrus :p

  29. OH my goodness, I LOVE this cake. I MUST try this recipe. My Quay Lo will love me long time for baking his this grorgeous, moist orange cake. He loves orange cake.

  30. Oo I can almost taste the sweet citrus moistened the this, Zoe.

  31. Oh how fun and I'll look forward to the next Cook Like a Star/Master Chef series! Congrats on your interview, too. I'm heading over there to read it next...except I can't seem to break myself away from this beautiful cake before me! Boy does that look sweet and moist! Beautiful photos! : )

  32. Wow so tempting :) Cute clicks :) Happy to follow you back. Thank u dear fot following me on my blog and sweet comments :) dear. Keep in touch :) I would like to join Bake Along and master chef recipes :)

  33. the texture looks great. my kids loved the olympics too!

  34. Ahhhhh that's so cute...I'm sad I have to wait another 4 years to the Olympics too but I was lucky enough to go to some events in London. This cake looks absolutely amazing and so moist! :-)

  35. Oh this cake looks gorgeous! And I love your photos!

  36. Hi Zoe, I've missed many of the events during my breaks. Whenever I read the post from Lena or Joyce I'm already late :(
    Hopefully I can catch up soon.

  37. YUM! would love to have a slice of this heavenly citrus cake! Love the rich moist texture of this cake & really intrigue by the addition of wine! Amazing! :)


Thanks for visiting my blog. I would appreciate if you can leave comments on my post for friendships and my future improvements.