Gluten Free Orange Almond and Cottage Cheese Cake

It is the last of the 5 recipes from Orange and Almond cakes series. It is the cake that demands most attention out of all 5 recipes and uses separated eggs to get the best rise and texture of the cake. Ricotta cheese can be used to replace cottage cheese in the recipe.

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I make my own cottage cheese, and when I intend to use it for baking, I try to make it as dry as possible by squeezing most of the liquid using cheese cloth. The same applies to ricotta cheese. You can achieve the same result by draining excess liquid when leaving ricotta, wrapped in cheese cloth, with heavy weight on top overnight.

Addition of cottage/ricotta cheese to orange and almond cake subdues intense orange flavour. It has the same moist texture, that remains the same for 3-4 days while the cake lasts. If any cake can be considered healthy, this cake definitely is. It has no fats added, low-fat soft cheeses substantially increase protein content in the final product. This cake is obviously not for people with dairy restrictions, on top of gluten restrictions in their diet. Prepared batter can be baked as muffins, either plain or with any berries.

Ingredients: for 25 cm round springform cake pan

  • 250g cooked orange puree, made from 2 cooked whole oranges
  • 200g cottage/ricotta cheese, drained to remove excess moisture
  • 50g fine rice flour, I always use McKenzie’s fine rice flour
  • 250g almond meal, sifted
  • 250g sugar
  • 10g vanilla sugar, or 2 tea spoons vanilla bean extract
  • 4 extra large eggs, separated
  • unsalted butter, rice flour and granulated sugar for baking pan
  • 2 table spoons of sliced almonds and icing sugar for cake decoration
  • 1 table spoon of lemon juice, if ricotta cheese is used

Preparation:

  • wash 2 oranges, put them in cold water and cook  in simmering water for 1 hour
  • change water, if you have concerns about chemical residues, or alternatively use organic oranges
  • cut cooked oranges in quarters, discard any seeds, cool orange quarters down
  • blend orange pieces into coarse puree in food processor (coarse puree with small chunks provides extra texture to the cake)

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  • prepare cottage/ricotta cheese by draining extra moisture if necessary

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  • prepare baking pan, grease it generously with unsalted butter
  • dust the bottom of the pan with rice flour
  • dust the sides of 25cm springform pan with granulated sugar

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  • separate eggs
  • beat egg whites until soft peaks
  • add half the sugar from the recipe and beat until stiff peaks

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  • transfer egg whites into another bowl and set them aside

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  • beat egg yolks with remaining sugar and vanilla sugar (vanilla extract)
  • add orange puree and cottage/ricotta cheese and continue mixing on lower speed until fully combined
  • if using ricotta cheese add 1 table spoon of lemon juice

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  • sift almond meal and rice flour and mix them together with a whisk
  • add dry ingredients to egg yolk, orange puree and cottage cheese mixture
  • carefully fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients

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  • add 3-4 table spoons of egg whites to loosen cake batter
  • mix in by folding in the rest of egg whites; make sure that cake batter is homogenous and has the same consistency through, but do not overmix
  • spoon thick batter into greased and dusted springform baking pan

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  • lightly shake the pan to level cake batter, use silicone spatula dipped in water if necessary
  • use sliced almonds for decoration on top of the batter

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  • place baking pan in the cold fan-forced oven, pre-set to 170C (cold start baking provides even rise and level surface of the cake)
  • bake for 55-60 min, or until the sides of the cake separate from springform and the middle of the cake is firm to touch
  • I like to crisp cake crust in switched off, but still warm oven, by taking springform sides off, and leaving the cake on springform bottom in the oven for 10 min
  • transfer cake to a serving board or plate and let in cool for 1-2 hours before slicing

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  •   dust cake with icing sugar

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  • orange, almond and cottage cheese cake is easily sliced when still warm without being crumbly

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This cake is perfect on its own, but can be served with clotted cream or plain yogurt. It stays moist and never goes dry. I do not refrigerate any of orange and almond cakes, but it might be a good idea, when a big cake is baked in hot summer weather.

I want to make another general remark. I usually do not use baking powder or baking soda as raising agents. I prefer to use extra large eggs, which provide higher egg white proportion in the mix. In delicate cakes, where heavy weight of semi-dry ingredients can prevent raising, I separate eggs and fold egg whites into cake batter at the last moment. These batters are usually thicker and have to be spooned, not poured into baking pans. They differ greatly from gluten free flour mix batters, which are very runny and still make dense cakes.

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One thought on “Gluten Free Orange Almond and Cottage Cheese Cake

  1. Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my Seed and Nut Crackers recipe. 🙂 I see you have some very interesting gluten-free recipes here too!

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