Posted on Jul 29, 2013 in All Recipe Posts, Nuts, Protein, Protein Cakes, Special Diet, Uncategorized | 31 comments

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Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt.  Sometimes it begets comfort.  It can be very reassuring and soothing.  It can be joyful, playful, and nostalgic.   The familiar can be amazing.

I thrive on change and fearlessly love experimenting with the new, in work and life, and definitely with food.  But I also love need my comfort foods.   It doesn’t have to be for any particular reason, although stressful times, special occasions, or just because it’s winter, are all reason enough.  Sometimes it is just because they bring such a smile to your face and you can enjoy them with the same unbridled joy as a child might.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of recipe testing for various projects over the past month.  It’s been fun, occasionally frustrating and confusing, but always rewarding.  I’ve had to acquire a whole new level of patience with some projects, when a slow and steady pace of development has been the wiser path to tread.  As a result, I’ve managed to provide a steady stream random assortment of goodies to eat for pretty much everyone but me!  Which explains the lack of high protein fit food recipes on this blog.

I’ve recently started having cravings for treats I’ve not enjoyed in a while … like cake.  I haven’t experienced actual cravings for anything except Moroccan baked eggs and tuna in ages.   I always feel a bit conflicted with sweet cravings.  Part of me wants something truly lush … full on sugar, butter, rich, chocolatey decadence.  The other part of me wants something that will fit my macros without leaving me to starve for the rest of the day … although … sometimes it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make :D

In the end, every part of me will always choose something simple and well loved … dare I say it … something familiar.  There are few cakes as simple and familiar as the classic orange and almond cake by Claudia Roden.  You’d be hard pressed to find a café in Australia that does not serve a version of this beautiful dessert cake.

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Of course, I had to make it sugar free, and lower its body fat percentage :D, make it higher in protein and suitable for anyone on a low FODMAP diet (like me).  Some simple changes to the classic recipe have not altered either the flavour or the texture of this gorgeous cake.  I’ve just put a little muscle into the original, so to speak.  Macros are included below the recipe, as usual.  They are grand.

So now we can enjoy this fabulous dessert, whatever our cake preferences are.

It certainly hit the spot for me.  I made this one with my favourite blood oranges, in season right now and super sweet and fragrant, and served it with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt, and shaved dark chocolate.  It would also be fantastic with cream, ice cream, or on its own.

Can you tell the difference between this and the original?  Unlikely.  So far, nobody here has got wise to my shenanigans.

A great fit food dessert … a new twist on an old familiar favourite.  The best combination.


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Blood Orange & Almond Protein Cake

Makes: 1 x 24cm cake, serves 12

Serving Size: 1/12

This is really just a simple adaptation of the classic and much loved flourless orange and almond cake by Claudia Roden. The original is a staple of cafes and home bakers alike. It never disappoints. Moist and full of orange flavour, it makes for an elegant dessert or a snack on the run.

Use the best, sweetest oranges in season. I have used blood oranges, but navels or valencias will also work beautifully.

I wanted to respect the original so made only a few simple changes to increase the protein and lower the fat in the recipe. I also used a stevia based sweetener instead of sugar. The result was amazing.

You can, of course, use 6 whole eggs instead of the 2 eggs and egg whites in the recipe but if, like me, you like a lighter cake, this version is a great option.

If you are lactose intolerant, substitute rice protein powder for the casein. This cake is gluten-free and is suitable for those on a FODMAP diet.

I hope Ms Roden would approve :)


  • 480g whole blood oranges (2 large or 4 small)
  • 104 grams whole eggs (2 large)
  • 210 grams liquid egg whites*
  • 250 grams Natvia (or other granulated sweetener)
  • 170 grams almond flour
  • 80 grams micellar casein (substitute rice protein powder if lactose intolerant)
  • 5 grams gluten-free baking powder


Place the oranges in a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat.

If the oranges are large, let them boil for 2 hours. If they are small, reduce the time to 90 minutes.

Drain the oranges and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 190℃/375℉.

Line the base and sides of a 24 centimetre springform or loose-bottomed cake tin with silicon baking paper and set aside.

Quarter the oranges and remove any white pith and pips. Place the orange quarters in the bowl of a food processor with the eggs, egg whites, and sweetener. Process until smooth.

Mix together the almond flour, casein powder, and baking powder. Add to the orange egg mix in the food processor and process until smooth.

Transfer the batter to the prepared cake tin and smooth the top.

Bake for about 45 to 60 minutes, until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it.

Cool the cake in the tin before gently removing and transferring to a serving plate.

It is lovely served with a little extra "icing sugar" on top. Simply pulverise a little granulated Natvia or other sweetener in a food processor, until fine. Sift it lightly over the top of the cake just before serving.

Store leftover cake in an airtight container for a few days.

Macronutrient Profile

I have included macros for the ingredients as stated.  The sugar content is entirely made up of the naturally occurring sugar in the ingredients (aka there is no added sugar).

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