Perfect for a sweet afternoon snack. Pair with Paul's Cherry Malt Milkshake.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Grease and flour a 27cm x 38cm x 6cm cake tin or roasting pan. Line the bottom with baking paper and set aside.
Place the sugar and water in a large, shallow frying pan and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Place the blood orange slices in a single layer and cover with baking paper to stop the syrup from reducing and thickening. Gently simmer for 15 minutes or until softened. Do not allow the syrup to caramelize – if it starts to thicken, add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out again. You may have to cook several batches of orange slices to make sure the oranges are poached in a single layer.
Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.
Using a stand up mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, whisking after each addition until well combined. Using a spatula, fold in the hazelnut meal and flour.
Remove the blood oranges slices from the syrup and reserve the syrup for later. Lay the blood orange slices in a single layer on the bottom of the cake tin, so that they slightly overlap. Pour the cake mixture over the slices to cover them completely. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through. If the cake starts to colour too much on the top, place a greased piece of baking paper over the cake to stop it from browning.
When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Place a light chopping board over the tin, and gently flip the cake tin upside down. Carefully remove the tray from the cake. Remove the baking paper from the top of the cake and use a pastry brush to brush the cake with leftover blood orange syrup.
Serve the cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of extra blood orange syrup.
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