Orange blossom water is, as you might imagine, the essence of orange tree flowers distilled in water. It’s a strong, concentrated flavour so you only need a small amount in a recipe to capture the long-lasting perfumey citrus taste. Traditionally used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking, the blossom water has an exotic quality making these cakes a lovely summertime dessert. You can buy ‘orange blossom honey’ which would work well in this recipe, however you will still need the orange blossom water as the honey is only fruit-infused and does not actually contain any of the blossom flavour (quite a deceptive name!) The recipe below is made for my honeycomb tin with 19 servings but you can use muffin tins (1 and a half 12 cup muffin tins) to make 18 servings.Orange blossom water is useful for so many things, so if you buy a bottle, don’t just let it sit in your cupboard… You can use it as a facial toner, add it to your cocktails, pour some into your bath (it’s a very calming essence with a lovely scent) use it to rub on your pet to help them relax or add it to your washing (your clothes will smell lovely!)
Honey Almond Cakes with Orange Blossom Glaze
Gluten-free and dairy-free cakes
- For the cakes
- 450g ground almonds
- 180ml light honey
- 6 large eggs, separated
- zest of a medium orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- For the orange blossom glaze
- 60ml light honey
- 60ml water
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 180c and grease 2 muffin tins or mini cake tins (I used this honeycomb tin)
- To make the glaze, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour contents through a sieve into a pouring jug and chill until the cake is ready (it will thicken a little bit as it cools.)
- In a bowl, mix the egg whites until bright and frothy but don’t let stiff peaks form otherwise the cake will flop when taken out the oven.
- In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks, honey, vanilla extract and orange zest until well combined.
- Add in the ground almonds, baking powder and pinch of salt.
- Gently mix in the egg whites until well combined and a light batter is formed.
- Pour the batter over the cake/muffin tins and gently tap the tin on the counter to make sure the batter settles evenly.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
- Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and then remove cakes from tin, brush or drizzle on the glaze.