Diets and dry January are an anathema to me; why in the coldest and bleakest month of the year would you persecute yourselves further - a hair shirt would surely complete the trio? Instead, why not get yourself outside and garden - work off that extra piece of Christmas cake, sneakily scoffed chocolate, extra handful of crisps and copious glasses of fizz and gain a garden to be proud of in 2020. Then come back into the warmth and indulge in a small slice of Campari & Blood Orange Cake (the cake will simply last longer and keeps for over a week). It is full of nutrient-rich almonds and vitamin C, and did I mention that it is gluten and dairy-free? Blood Oranges have a really short season - from November to February so catch them whilst you can.
line a 23cm spring form tin and preheat your oven to Fan 170 deg C
For this cake - you'll need 6 blood oranges in total - using the zest of 4 for the cake and the juice of all of them for the syrup to pour onto the warm cake.
6 eggs, separated
230g caster sugar
230g ground almonds (or 180g ground almonds and 50g flaked almonds)
grated zest of 4 Blood Oranges
6 Blood Oranges, juiced
150g caster sugar
In a large bowl, whisk the 6 egg yolks with the caster sugar until pale and creamy. Add the ground almonds and finely grated orange zest and mix thoroughly.
In a separate clean bowl whisk the egg whites with a tablespoon of caster sugar until stiff. Fold a third of the stiffened egg whites gently into the almond/egg yolk mixture adding the egg white mixture in three stages and ensuring the first has been incorporated before adding the next amount.
Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tin – taking care not to knock all the incorporated air out of the mixture. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out cleanly.
Meanwhile make the syrup by simmering the caster sugar, blood orange juice and Campari in a saucepan until thick and syrupy, remove any scum before pouring into a jug.
Insert holes with a skewer into the warm cake and pour the syrup over the top, letting it sink into the cake before pouring more syrup on.