Ballymaloe Recipes Uncategorized

Day 31 – Tunisian Orange Cake

Monday was a bank holiday in Ireland. I came home for the long weekend and cooked for my parents. I made a spatchcock chicken, marinated overnight in yoghurt, cumin, turmeric and saffron. I put it over some potatoes and onions, also covered in yoghurt and spices, and sprinkled with parsley, mint and lemon before serving.


I also made one of my favourite Ballymaloe desserts, Tunisian Orange Cake with Rory’s Orange salad. I had no cloves so substituted star anise.

Tunisian Orange Cake



50g / 2 oz breadcrumbs

175g / 6 oz caster sugar

100g / 4 oz ground almonds

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

200ml / 7 fl oz oil

4 eggs

zest of one orange

zest of one lemon


juice of one orange

juice of one lemon

50g / 2 oz sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves


2 oranges

8 dates

a few leaves of mint

1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)


Line and grease a loaf tin (20.5 x 6.5 cm or 8 x 2 1/2 inch). DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN! If this cake goes into a hot oven it will sink.

Place the almonds, breadcrumbs and sugar in a bowl. Sieve in the baking powder, or at least rub it between your palms before adding, to make sure there are no lumps and it distributes evenly.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and oil together. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and finally mix in the citrus zest.

Pour into the prepared loaf tin, place into the cold oven and now you may turn it on to 180 C/ 350 F. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Make the glaze before the cake comes out of the oven. Place all ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer gently for a few minutes, until it has slightly reduced and thickened. Poke some holes in the cake and pour over while still warm. Leave to cool and absorb completely.

Make the orange salad right before it is ready to serve. Segment the oranges, chop the mint and mix with dates and honey. Serve each slice with a juicy spoonful of salad and some lightly whipped cream.