Blood Orange Torte

Blood Orange Torte

Not only is today’s post the 250th post on my site, but it’s also this little blog’s 4th anniversary! Thinking back on it, there really should be a lot more posts, but I was pretty laid back about them back in the day. I’m just totally surprised that I even made it to 4 years!

As much as I love writing this blog, developing the recipes and taking the photos, it is a lot of work and so hard to keep up. I think everyday for the last 4 years, I’ve asked what state of mind was I in that I agreed to do this! And everyday for the last 4 years I’ve thought about giving it all up. Then, of course, that day I will make something that turns out phenomenal and my first thought is, “I need to share this!” So, there you have it. I can’t stop even if I want to.

Blood Orange Torte

And I won’t. I have plans for my little piece of web and slowly but surely, we are getting there. None of this would be possible without the support of all of you, my readers and friends. I am thankful for the friendships I’ve made, the wonderful blogging community, and the home cooks who actually try my recipes! I appreciate every one of you. Thank you for a wonderful 4 years.

So, no rants today, or soul searching questions, just a light post 🙂 I thought maybe I’d share a few random tidbits about myself. I get asked all kinds of questions when I am at work and it’s interesting because I don’t know how to answer them half the time! 

Blood Orange Torte

Last weekend, somebody asked me which cuisine I like the most, or rather if I owned a restaurant, what would I serve? To me, that’s two different questions. There isn’t a cuisine I hate; there is something I enjoy in every cuisine. At home, I make a lot of Indian food, and that maybe because I grew up eating it, it’s comfort food for me. I love it that my husband never complains that we eat so much Indian food! And that’s probably because I also cook a variety of things and cuisines. There’s always something different at our house 🙂

Blood Orange Torte

Would I move back to London if the opportunity arose? I love Colorado; I love living here, I love the scenery, the weather and the people are great too. However, if I was given the opportunity to move back to London, yes. I would go back in a heart beat. For someone who has travelled so much at a young age, moved continents, countries and States more times then I’d like to remember, It’s home to me and always will be. I want my children to know it and love it as well. 

Blood Orange Torte

Having an Indian ancestry but being born in Saudi Arabia, growing up in England and then moving to the US, I find it hard to “belong”. I am not very Indian, my thoughts and ideas and upbringing were all done in England. I know very little about India. When I meet Indian people, I have nothing in common with them and they just don’t understand why! Of course, the younger generation is different but usually Indians of my age, have grown up in India. We think quite differently. Once in a while, I will find that rare person I get along with famously. 

Blood Orange Torte

On the same lines as ancestry and upbringing, one of my most detested questions is “where are you from?” I don’t know how to answer that. When, after thinking a long time (because I know they are looking at my head scarf and my colouring) I say England, I can see their disbelief. Then they say, “you don’t have a British accent” I don’t know what to say to that either. Me having or not having an accent doesn’t discount the fact that I LIVED there and am as British as the next British person, so I don’t know why that question/statement matters. I am bilingual but I can also read and/or write 4 others. Maybe, that’s why my accent isn’t noticeable or is totally warped. 

I am not a fan of smoothies. I think it’s the texture.

I love chocolate straight up. But don’t find all chocolate treats such as cakes, fudges and brownies, etc as enticing.

I love a chocolate malt with french fries for dipping.

I am obsessed with coffee and coffee shops and roasters. I have driven an hour to try a coffee shop that got rave reviews.

I don’t like anything made from coffee, only exception being, tiramisu.

I am also a coffee snob. At work we have very expensive coffee and espresso machines that make fabulous coffee. Unfortunately, they are filled with bulk Starbucks coffee and I refuse to drink that “coffee” (I go to a coffee roasters around the corner to get my fix.)

My dream vacation would be a trip to Europe visiting all the kaffee houses, especially in Hungary and Austria.

I want a food truck.

I want to go to a dinner party where the food is SO good that I’ll think about it when I go home and for years after. I have memories of about 3 or 4 parties from my youth that the food was so memorable, I salivate now when I think about it.

One of my biggest pet peeves at dinner parties, apart from the ones I’ve already complained about, that is, is when the guests love a dish so much that they insist on knowing the recipe, right there and then. It is so hard to not be rude! First off, the hostess is always busy, and we are busy talking with other guests and don’t want you to monopolise the conversation about a recipe. Another thing, what if we don’t want to give out the recipe!! I don’t have a problem with friends asking because I can always talk about it to them later, but on many occasions, I’ve had guests bring other people that I don’t know well and I have literally been harassed all evening over one of my recipes by these new people.

Blood Orange Torte

OK, that’s probably enough because I have a feeling that my pet peeves would over whelm this post! I’ll just say that I have a problem with stupid people and everything they bring with them 🙂

Today’s celebratory creation is a very simple one, and is doubling as a Valentine’s Day treat. Lately, I find myself wanting less fussiness and more simplicity. I want rustic and sophistication blended together, a rustic sophistication. I almost just made a pie, because that’s what I was craving but I had bought these beautiful blood oranges and wanted to use them while they were in season.

I happened to be reading one of my favourite European baking books, Kaffeehaus by Rick Rodgers and came across an orange torte that sounded delicious and simple. Though it’s a bit fussy in its preparation, it’s really quite a basic cake or torte, actually. I changed a few things, mainly the citrus but I also made a smaller cake. We find it hard to finish huge cakes, especially when I’m experimenting all the time.

This is the perfect torte to show off blood oranges. The torte is moist and the flavour of the blood oranges shines through, bright and sunny. The curd filling is not overpowering but light and fruity, thanks to some whipped cream in there.

Blood Orange Curd

The candied blood oranges used as garnish are easy to make and look beautiful on the cake. They taste great too, if you like candied peel.

I left the cake in a natural state. At high altitude, baking cakes is a tricky business. Our cakes never come out the same way twice. This torte probably will be level at sea level but at my 5500 feet, it really sank in the middle! My fault, I didn’t watch the egg whites and beat them too stiff, and so the end result was a cake with a sunken middle. At first, I was bothered by it, but after it cooled, I saw it was actually really beautiful, my rustic sophistication.

The blood orange torte is filled inside and I put a thin layer as icing all over. Decorate with the candied orange and for my celebratory cake, I added some flowers and candles 🙂

Make this! It is delicious, even if it deflates on you. Your special someone will adore it, especially if they are a citrus lover.

Blood Orange Torte


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6-8 pieces

An almond torte filled and iced with a blood orange curs.
  • ½ cup dried breadcrumbs, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup/115g ground almonds
  • 5 eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cups/135g sugar
  • Grated zest of ½ blood orange
  • 3 tablespoons blood orange juice
  • ¾ cup/150g sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 blood orange
  • ½ cup/118ml fresh blood orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons/55g unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • ½ cup/118ml heavy whipping cream
  • 1 blood orange, sliced very thinly
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup/175ml water
  1. TORTE
  2. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  3. Lightly butter a 7 inch/18cm springform pan and line the bottom with a parchment round.
  4. Dust the sides and bottom with some breadcrumbs.
  5. Tap out the excess crumbs and set pan aside.
  6. In a food processor, add the ground almonds and bread crumbs and process till finely ground, almost to a powder. Set aside.
  7. Beat the yolks and a ¼ cup the sugar in a medium bowl with a hand mixer until thick and pale.
  8. About 4 minutes and then beat in the blood orange zest and juice.
  9. Using clean beaters or a stand mixer, add thee egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
  10. Add the remaining sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form and are shiny.
  11. Fold about ¼ of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten the mixture,
  12. Add in the almond-breadcrumb mixture and fold in.
  13. Add the rest of the egg whites, folding in until batter is combined.
  14. Spread evenly into the pan.
  15. It will fill up the pan almost to the top.
  16. Bake until the centre is springy and firm, about 35 minutes.
  17. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.
  18. Run a knife around the edges and loosen the cake.
  19. Remove the cake carefully by removing the sides of the pan.
  20. Remove the cake from the bottom cake plate and peel off the paper.
  21. Place on a rack until completely cooled.
  23. Whisk the sugar, blood orange zest and juice, lemon juice, butter, egg yolks and corn starch together in a medium pan.
  24. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil .
  25. Let stand and cool completely.
  26. Can be made ahead and kept in the fridge to cool.
  27. If you want to assemble the torte the same day, cool the curd by pouring it into a bowl that's been placed in a larger bowl of ice.
  28. Stir occasionally to cool.
  29. This will make more curd than is needed, but it can be kept to use on toast or scones.
  30. When it's time to assemble the torte, whip the heavy cream till nice and stiff.
  31. Beat until quite stiff since the curd will thin it out.
  32. Add ½ cup of the blood orange curd and beat until mixed.
  33. Slice the cake in half or thirds if possible.
  34. Carefully separate the layers.
  35. Add some blood orange curd as a filling, about ¼ cup or so.
  36. If you were able to cut into thirds, fill with more curd in the second layer.
  37. With the remaining bit of curd icing, spread it all around the cake, if desired.
  38. I like the rustic, somewhat naked look of the cake.
  39. Top with fresh blood oranges or candied blood oranges.
  41. Place the water and sugar into a medium pan and bring to a boil.
  42. Once the sugar is all dissolved, add the blood oranges into the simple syrup.
  43. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer the oranges until they are soft.
  44. It will take about 45-50 minutes.
  45. Remove the blood oranges and cool on rack until cooled and dried.
  46. They make take a day or two to dry so plan ahead if you are using these.

Once again, thank you for your friendship and support and for reading my ravings for 4 years!

Here’s to many more…


Nazneen xx

  1. Happy 4th anniversary or birthday! This coffee talk is making some crave some Cuban coffee this hour.

  2. Four years, doesn’t time fly? It would be so fab if you came to London, we could have a wonderful tea party! I bet everyone would love it. Just as I love this torte, it’s so stylish and I bet it tastes wonderful. Thanks for the recipe. I never ask for recipes at dinner parties unless I know the person really well, it always seems a bit presumptuous! Happy 4th birthday and here’s to many more lovely recipes. GG xx
    Glamorous Glutton recently posted..Wednesday Words – Magic Soup by Nicole Pisani And Kate AdamsMy Profile

  3. Oh this cake is simply stunning, Nazneen! And I am always in awe of your beautiful photography! You are quite an inspiration to me! Congratulations on the 4 year anniversary of your blog. I enjoy everything you’ve shared…..and especially what you share of yourself. It has been wonderful getting to know you! : )
    Anne@FromMySweetHeart recently posted..Aviation CocktailMy Profile

  4. What a beautiful torte – very fitting for this special occasion! So interesting to read those tidbits about you, too. I am a little like you in that I was born in Hong Kong and lived there til I was about 8 before moving to the US. I find it hard to belong fully to either world. Anyway, happy cooking/baking/blogging/living!
    Monica recently posted..Mini chocolate bundt cakes for twoMy Profile

  5. Congratulations Nazneen! What a beautiful journey you have made it to be. I learn so much every time I come here. Your beautiful write ups, photographs, recipes, and the glimpses that you give of your life….it all makes for a beautiful read. Here’s wishing you many many more such delightful blog anniversaries my friend. The tort is gorgeous!
    minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Navrattan KormaMy Profile

  6. I missed your blog and your recipes Nazneen, so ashamed to being here after a lot of time! I missed the new graphic and a good number of amazing recipes (such as the orange focaccia!!!) but, thank God, I didn’t miss tho post! Congratulation on your blogiversary and on the 250th post! This cake looks stunning!
    Margherita@lapetitecasserole recently posted..Apple yoghurt pie with cranberry jamMy Profile

  7. Happy 250th, Nazneen! 250th post, I mean! I can totally relate to your feelings about blogging. I’ve been on the same road as you, but perhaps, I’ve taken more “breaks” than you have (LOL). But at the end of the day, I seem to always come back to blogging because I love sharing new kitchen creations to friends and strangers. I also love the fact that (if I find the time and energy), I can one day compile all these recipes and pass it on to my children – sort of like a family heirloom. And that’s the big reason I keep doing this.
    On another note, I’d love to go live in England! Haha! Someone adopt me please!
    Anyhow, this torte is a real stunner! Love it! Pinned!
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings recently posted..Ombré Layer CakeMy Profile

  8. Happy 4th birthday Nazneen, and thank you so much for your offer to have lunch with me… I know how busy you are so I know how much you are sacrificing right now :). Iam going for a quick trip to Florida next week end to make the final decision. We’ll keep in touch to set a date Inshaa Allah. Well now back to your post, I loved knowing more about you but I am unlike you in that I like people asking me from where I am and talk more about my culture, in face this is the main reason from my blog, I wanted to introduce people to the Arabic culture through food – and many other things. Here is another thing, in the Middle Eastern world, it is always a compliment to ask the hostess of a party about a recipe or two and sometimes even INSIST on getting it as it shows how much you liked the food and appreciate what she/he has done. So next time you have people around if they insist on a recipe ask them where are you from hahaha, if they are from the Middle East then they are just trying to be nice and complement you as much as they can. Great recipe as usual.
    Amira recently posted..Syrian falafel, give a heart to Syria (a special request)My Profile

  9. Happy Happy Blogiversary Nazneen! This cake is stunning, I love the decorations on it – though if I made those candied blood oranges, don’t think they would make it onto a cake as I probably would have snacked on them ALL! Btw, “where are you from?” is one of my least favorite questions too having spent time in Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi, London and now here.

  10. Happy Blog Anniversary Nazneen! You’ve made the perfect treat for the occasion and there are flowers too…just beautiful! It was great to read more about you and you know I feel like I know you since ages…amazing what the Internet can do for you! The accent is totally personal…you seem to have a lot of ‘nosey’ people around you..Actually they are everywhere…I have a different problem. I have people commenting on my accent back home. (that I shouldn’t have one). Ha way or the other you will always end up making people unhappy. Who cares though…lets eat this gorgeous cake:-)
    Sugar et al. recently posted..Red Velvet Cake with Raspberries And CreamMy Profile

  11. Congratulations, again, Nazneen! The cake looks delish. Will have to get it together and pull out all the stops to make one of those great dinners. At least our company is always memorable. Miss you.

  12. Four years of absolute heaven, congrats on your blogiversary mon amie! Every time I visit, I enjoy another mouthwatering recipe and your photos are incredible 😀
    This blood orange torte looks excellent, you seem to have a natural affinity with this fruit 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Eating Day @ Bondi BeachMy Profile

  13. Happy 4th Blogiversay! Time really flies, doesn’t it? Congrats — that’s an achievement. Love the torte, but really like getting to know a bit more about you. One of the reasons why I started by blog was to answer people who wanted recipes! I could tell them it’s on the blog (or will be, soon). 😉 I’m not a fan of smoothies either. And I think when a chocolate cake or whatever doesn’t taste as nice as one would like, it probably doesn’t have enough fat in it — chocolate really needs fat in order for its flavor to pop, IMO. Anyway, fun post — thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..The White Russian CocktailMy Profile

  14. Congratulations on four beautiful and flavorful years! Mark and I have both enjoyed reading and – quite a few times – making your dishes! This blood orange torte looks wonderful – makes me wish the trees were easier to grow… we are just a little too cold here in Tucson. Again, Happy Anniversary – and enjoy the love you deserve for all you bring to us! xo, David
    David recently posted..The Comforts of HomeMy Profile

  15. You crack me up Nazneen. You know you totally went on a bit of a rant there didn’t you? Food truck hey? What sort of food are you thinking? I think you’d be brilliant at it. Talking of dinner parties and people asking for recipes – why do people ask you for the recipe and then tell you how they will make it better?! Ugh.
    Congratulations on your blog birthday and 250th post – it’s a mighty fine cake to celebrate the occasion. x
    Nancy | Plus Ate Six recently posted..A slow-cooked braise of beef & onionsMy Profile