For the Orange Marzipan:
1 cup ground almonds (120 grams) – after grinding ground almonds like these in a food processor, be sure to pass them through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer to get rid of the large particles (known as bits). The bits will remain intact during baking and not cook down properly. This is usually a problem for marzipans that are made from almond flour because they are coarsely ground and contain many large particles that will not cook down properly.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams) – you can use a kitchen scale for this. You need 1 1/2 cups total when you are mixing it. Since the cake is necessary to be incredibly dense, your sugar needs to be packed full of air bubbles. This will allow it to rise higher inside the cake and also prevent the edges of the cake from being soggy.
Zest of 1 orange – use a vegetable peeler on zest only, taking off as much of it as possible without removing any of the white pith underneath. The aim is to keep as much orange flavour in the marzipan as possible while also keeping it from being too tart or bitter.
1 Tablespoon orange juice – if you don’t have fresh orange juice, you can use storebought concentrated orange juice. However, if you make your own and dilute it down to 1 tablespoon, it will be less bitter.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract – use pure vanilla extract, not artificial or imitation vanilla flavouring. These don’t have the same consistency as the real thing and will affect your marzipan’s ability to set properly. If you cannot find pure vanilla extract, use pure vanilla paste instead. You can get it online at Amazon.com or at Whole Foods.
You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pan to bake the cake. I’m using aluminum foil to line the bottom and sides of the pan so that when I flip it over, the sides will pop out for easy removal. This is optional since you can easily remove the cake from the bottom of the pan after baking it. If you decide not to use aluminum foil, don’t forget to butter and flour your cake tin well if you have one.
One other tool that you will need is a rolling pin.
I got mine here on Amazon.
I find it is best to roll out the crust on a piece of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar so that it doesn’t stick to the dough. It is also best to use a rolling pin cover so that you won’t get dough all over your rolling pin. I got mine here on Amazon.
Roll your dough into a round disc about ¼ inch thick and cut 5 or 6 (depending upon the size of your tart pan) circles measuring about 3 inches across. Place the dough circles into your tart pan in a tidy arrangement.
Once the cake is completely cooled, decorate with the additional orange marzipan and chocolate ganache on top. You can create this design step by step or opt for a more spontaneous approach: just overlap the bottom layer of marzipan and place the next round of dough (also brushing with egg wash) on top. Repeat this process until you run out of marzipan and dough – then place some more chocolate ganache on top for good measure.
When you have finished, give it a generous dusting of icing sugar on top. Try to cover as many exposed areas as possible so that the cake won’t attract any bugs while it’s sitting in the refrigerator. Icing sugar is available at Amazon.com and Whole Foods.
It’s also best to cover the cake with plastic wrap before putting it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This will encourage the cake to set up properly, ensuring that the flavours will remain intact when you serve it.
Finally, once you are ready to serve the cake, remove it from the refrigerator and carefully flip it over. The sides should come out very easily using a spatula. If they don’t come out easily, just run your knife around them and then lift them gently off.
You can now cut your cake and serve it. There is no need to freeze the ganache or heat it up again because this recipe has been designed so that everything sits at room temperature for a short period of time before serving.
You can eat this cake like a normal slice of cake or makes it more special and unique by using it to serve your guests. The amazing thing about this cake is that it will keep for up to 3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. Even if you are planning on keeping it for longer, make sure that you squeeze out excess air as much as possible before putting it in the refrigerator. It’s best to do this when you are ready to cut the cake into slices so that there is no room for any air pockets left.
If you have any leftover orange marzipan left over, don’t throw it away! You can make orange frosting or marzipan balls by following these instructions instead.