Thursday, 30 September 2010

Best Orange and Almond Cake

Orange and Almond Cake - gluten and wheat free
This is one of the best orange cakes I have ever had the pleasure of tasting and making....
the recipe came to me during the years (1989-1991) when we ventured into the tea room business... (yes that's a story for another time)...
one of the staff offered me this recipe to try...  she assured me it was the best ever... and would sell really well in the tea rooms... 
I must admit once we introduced this delicious orange and almond cake into our selection of cakes... we had customers returning weekly just to feed on the super scrumpsious orange cake... there was no way we could get away with not having this cake on the sideboard....
So here is the recipe, may you enjoy this as much as we have... 
2 large oranges
6 large eggs
200g castor sugar
250g almond meal or ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
butter for cake tin 
Wash the oranges and place in a saucepan add water to cover, replace lid and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Turning the oranges and keeping an eye on the water level.  After 2 hours remove the oranges from the water and allow to cool.  
You can cook your oranges the day before and keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container overnight.
Pull open the cooked oranges and remove pips.  
Place the whole orange with skin in a food blender and blend to a pulp.
In a large bowl beat the eggs with a pinch of salt until fluffy, add sugar and beat well again.
Add the almond meal and baking powder and mix well. 
Then add the orange pulp and mix again.
Use a 23cm spring form with removable base cake tin and butter and line with baking sheet.
Bake in a pre-heated oven 190C for about 60 minutes
Test with a skewer, if still wet after 1 hour, leave a little longer.
Turn off the oven, and let cake sit in oven with door ajar for approximately 30 minutes.
After you have removed the cake from the oven allow to cool for another 30 minutes and then turn out upside down onto cooling rack and remove baking sheet.
When the cake is completely cool place on a serving plate, leave it upside down.
Decorate according to taste.
- you can sprinkle with icing sugar, 
- coat top and sides with apricot jam
then add glazed orange slices 
sprinkle with almond flakes.
The choice is yours... I like the apricot jam coating all over and prefer to keep it simple... unless it's a special occasion then I will continue with more decorating with the orange slices or almond flakes.
Bon appettit!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Banana Date and Oat Cookies

Yes it's been a while since I have posted anything about food... the truth be when you are convalescing with an upper respiratory tract infection the last thing on your mind is cooking...

So I must be getting better then?...?

 Here is a delicious, yummy, and good for you, quick and easy recipe…  and great for kids snack packs.

Banana Date and Oat Cookies
This is a recipe I have used since the late 80's.  The original recipe was from the "Fit for Life" book by Marilyn Diamond, and over the years I have played with it and just added odd bits and pieces from the pantry, for a bit of a twist to the basic recipe of oats, bananas, dates.
1.5 cups porridge oats
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground almonds
Pinch of Cinnamon
3 large very ripe bananas
3/4 cup dates
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/3 cup Light Olive Oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Raspberry Syrup (optional)

Ready to bake
Preheat oven to 175-180C.
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl, add half the oil, and mix well.  
In a blender add the dates the raspberry syrup and remainder oil, blend to a chunky mess.  
Mash bananas with a fork add vanilla extract.
Add the dates and bananas to oats and seeds mix and mix well.
Onto a baking sheet place oval shaped cookies the size of tablespoon.  

Bake in a moderate oven 175-180C for 20-25 minutes.  Remove and cool on cooling grid.

Bon appetit!

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