Orange cake with labne

You will need to start the labne a day ahead
prep + cook time 2 hours (+ refrigeration & standing) Serves 8

  • 9 egg whites
  • 270g (8½oz) butter, melted
  • 1½ cups (180g) almond meal
  • 2¼ cups (360g) gluten-free icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • ¾ cup (100g) gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 oranges (480g)
  • ¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
  • 1½ cups (330g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • vanilla labne
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1kg (2lb) greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar

1. Make vanilla labne.

2. Preheat oven 160°C/325°F. Grease a deep 20cm (8in) round cake pan; line base and side with baking paper.

3.  Whisk egg whites, butter, almond meal, icing sugar, sifted flour, rind and nutmeg in a large bowl until well combined. Pour mixture into pan.

4. Bake cake for 1 hour 40 minutes (cover with foil halfway through cooking to prevent overbrowning) or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave cake in pan for 10 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto a wire rack over an oven tray.

5.  Meanwhile, remove rind from oranges in long strips with a zester. Squeeze juice from oranges; you need ½ cup (125ml) juice. Stir orange and lemon juices, caster sugar and strips of orange rind in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens. Remove from heat. Reserve 2 tablespoons syrup and rind. Pour remaining hot syrup over hot cake.

6. Serve cooled cake with vanilla labne and reserved syrup and rind.

vanilla labne  Stir ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Spoon yoghurt mixture into a sieve lined with two layers of muslin (or a clean Chux cloth); place over a medium bowl. Tie cloth close to yoghurt. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, twisting the yoghurt ball at the top occasionally, or until thick. Stir labne until smooth.

labne is made by straining yoghurt through a fine cloth to release the liquid component, which is known as whey. The longer the straining time, the thicker the labne will become. The leftover whey will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days. use it in your smoothies or soups. A savoury labne can be made by omitting the sugar and vanilla. To fast track the draining process, wring the top of the cloth every 15 minutes.

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