Tag Archives: eggs

Red tea and Gluten Free Orange cake

The tea is ‘Blood Orange’ by Red Seal – appropriate, right? And the cake is my VERY EASY homemade, gluten free orange cake:

This pandemic has highlighted the need to ‘make do’ and not waste anything, so when I found myself with more navel oranges than we could eat [I made the mistake of buying a 3kg bag], the Offspring said, “Why don’t you make an orange cake. We haven’t had one of those in years.”

Seemed like a good idea until I dug out the recipe and stared at the bit that said ‘take nine eggs….’ Nine eggs? If I’d been smart, I would have made a half quantity, but you know how it is.

Anyway, apart from needing a lots of eggs and almond meal, the recipe is so ridiculously easy I decided to share. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Home Made Orange Cake

Ingredients for cake

  • 3 oranges
  • 9 eggs
  • 350gm of caster sugar
  • 350gm of almond meal

Ingredients for Orange Syrup

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 orange – zested, peeled and segmented

How to make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to fan forced 180 C
  2. Grease and line a 20 cm square cake pan with grease proof [parchment] paper. As I don’t have a pan of the right size I used a fairly large rectangular baking dish instead. The cake won’t rise a lot but it will rise a little so just make sure there’s a bit of room at the top.
  3. Place 3 oranges in a saucepan, cover with water, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the oranges are soft.
  5. Discard the water and allow the oranges to cool.
  6. If you have a food processor, blend the oranges [skins and all!] until they form a coarse ‘paste’. It’s actually more like a thick porridge. Set aside.
  7. Cream the eggs and sugar until light an fluffy. I have an electric beater so I’m not sure if it’s possible to beat the egg mixture using a hand one. Good luck?
  8. Add the almond meal and the orange paste and stir until well mixed.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan [see 2 above] and place in the middle of the pre-heated oven [see 1 above] for approximately 45 minutes.

How to make the orange syrup

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Mine was more like about 10 minutes but it didn’t seem to matter. Just make sure you don’t end up with toffee instead of sugar syrup!
  2. Take the syrup off the heat and set aside.
  3. Pour a little boiling water over the orange zest [the zest is the orange part – make sure it doesn’t have any of the white pith as this can be bitter]. Let it sit for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water. The recipe says to repeat this step but I didn’t and the syrup was fine. Your choice.
  4. Place the zest and orange segments into the syrup and allow to cool. Ahem, I forgot about the segments so I only put the zest into the syrup. Seemed fine. ๐Ÿ™‚

The recipe says to serve the cake with a drizzle of the syrup and some orange segments. Silly me, I left the cake in the pan and just poured the syrup over the whole cake. Worked fine except the cake now sticks to the parchment paper. -sigh-

Next time I’ll take the cake out of the pan, remove the paper, put the cake back into the pan and then pour the syrup over. Live and learn. ๐Ÿ™‚

And for those who don’t know how to segment an orange so there’s none of the white pitch, here’s my method:

  1. Cut a thin-ish slice off the top and bottom of the orange so you have a flat surface to work with:

2. Hold the knife at an angle [as shown above] and slice off a section of the peel, making sure to take off the white pith as well.

3. Once you’ve cut all around the top half of the orange, flip it over and do the same with the bottom half:

4. Once all the peel is off, do NOT cut the orange in half. You’re likely to get some of the pith in the middle, and you don’t want that. Instead, slice off one of the ‘cheeks’ of the orange by cutting about 1/3 of an inch off centre:

Now you can cut the cheek into segments. Repeat for the other side and the two narrow portions on each side. Ta dah, you have a segmented orange!

Some people may have noticed that I haven’t included any pretty porcelain with this post. I did think about it, but didn’t feel like washing up by hand so…dishwasher proof dishes only today. ๐Ÿ˜€

Enjoy,
Meeks


Cookies and Milk

The title of this post should have been ‘Coffee and Cake’, but we made the Triple Choc Chocolate biscuits last night, and it was too late for coffee, so…

Ahem. The Offspring and I adore these biscuits because they really are made with three lots of chocolate. There’s cocoa and melted chocolate in the biscuit dough, and then there are lumps of chocolate in each biscuit as well [the recipe is at the end of this post].

You can see how gooey and melted and divine those lumps of chocolate are here:

and here:

and here:

That’s why these biscuits are at their most divine straight from the oven. They are delicious cold as well, but not quite as delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, a word about sweetness. If you love super sweet, commercial biscuits, you will not love these triple choc biscuits. There is sugar in the biscuit dough, but not a huge amount, and the chocolate is unsweetened, dark chocolate. The cocoa is unsweetened, Dutch cocoa as well so the overall effect is not overly sweet.

There, you have been warned. For everyone else, I hope you enjoy the following recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Provenance: Vogue Entertaining & Travel, June/July 1999.

[We only ever make half quantities at a time so I’ve provided the cut down quantities in brackets. They’re not exactly half quantities, but they work.]

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups plain or all purpose flour [1/2 a cup and a ‘bit’]
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch cocoa [1 tablespoon ]
1 teaspoon baking powder [1/2 a teaspoon]
3/4 of a teaspoon salt [1/4 teaspoon]
500 gm good quality bittersweet dark chocolate [250 gm]
125 gm unsalted butter [60 gm]
1/2 cup sugar [1/4 cup sugar]
3 large eggs [add 1 whole egg, then crack a second egg into a bowl, beat it and add half of the beaten egg only]

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180o C or 356 F [make it a little less if using fan forced]
  2. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt
  4. Melt 3/4 of the dark chocolate [about 190 gm if making half quantities] with the butter in a small saucepan – don’t let it burn!
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sugar [I let the mixture cool a tiny bit before the next step]
  6. Stir in the eggs, one at a time until well mixed
  7. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined
  8. Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill for up to 1 hour
  9. Remove teaspoon sized balls of dough and place on the baking sheet, about 3.5 cm or 2 inches apart [the balls will expand a lot as they bake]
  10. Push small [or larger] chips of the dark chocolate into each biscuit [we like big gooey lumps so tend to use 1 large piece in instead of 2 or 3 smaller ones]
  11. Bake in the middle of a hot oven for 10 minutes or until just done. I set a timer for 8 minutes, turn the sheet, and reset the timer for another 2 minutes. The biscuits should feel slightly squishy to the touch. This is what you want as they will harden as they cool. If you leave them in for even 2 minutes longer, they’ll be hard and biscuity instead of soft and chewy.
  12. Allow the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. That’s the official line. The unofficial line is that you can eat them as soon as they don’t burn your fingers….

Have a wonderful day, and don’t eat the Triple Choc Biscuits all at once!

cheers
Meeks


Warrandyte is dry

In the wetter years since 2009, I had to get the grass cut before Christmas because the alpacas couldn’t keep up. This year we’ve had to start supplementary feedingย early because the alpacas have mowed the grass down already.

warrandyte dec 2014 1

In this first photo, I’m standing in my paddock, taking a photo of my neighbours’ paddocks. The three of us share the four alpacas.

warrandyte dec 2014 5

This next photo shows a small, fenced off area [roughly 2 metres by 3] that used to be one of the alpacas’ favourite poop spots. Once they start using a spot they become very attached to it, andย refuse to stop pooping there.

Unfortunately, this particular spot is really close to both the pool and the house, and the odd, gentle breeze can bring tears to your eyes. I’ve been trying to get rid of this spot for years, without much success. My latest plan has been to dig up the poop [and put it on the compost], dig up the soil underneath [to get rid of their scent], replace it with mushroom compost and plant something they love to eat [Lucerne].ย  Fingers crossed it works this time.

One area where I have had some success is with my ornamental ponds. One is less than a metre long, and the other is about 2.5 metres long, so both are quite small but the local frogs love them!

This next photo is of the larger pond and shows clusters of strange, white bubbles in amongst the water lilies and duck weed. Those, my friends, are frog eggs!

warrandyte dec 2014 3

What’s that you say? You can’t see them? Hold on…

warrandyte dec 2014 4

Tah duh!

I don’t really know why the frogs like my pond so much, but I’m thrilled that they do. It contains water cress and a host of other water plants so maybe I got the mix right without knowing it.

I hope my Aussie friends have had a great weekend, and I hope my international friends are still enjoying theirs. ๐Ÿ™‚

cheers

Meeks

p.s. Apologies if this post looks a bit strange. WordPress have made changes, again, and my blog won’t work at all in Opera. It works in IE, except for the preview function, so I won’t know what it looks like until I publish. I’m resisting the urge the rant. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


Upside down apple cake – a recipe

This recipe is for Anneb54 who expressed an interest in upside down peach cake. Apologies Anne, I had to use apples instead of peaches but you can easily substitute fresh peaches once they come into season again.

I’ve had this recipe for years, and it has remained one of my all-time favourites because it’s so easy to make, and because I always have the ingredients on hand. Okay, let’s do it!

Ingredients

2 large Fuji applies

1/2 a cup of caster sugar

4 teaspoons of cinnamon sugar – 3 tspns of sugar to 1 tspn of cinnamon [optional]

100 gm of butter [unsalted or salt reduced] – at room temperature.

2 eggs beaten

1 cup self-raising flour

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C [or 350 F]. [I use my fan-bake setting and drop the temperature a little to compensate].

2. Grease a 4 cup pie dish, or 8 inch ring-form tin. I always use the ring-form because I find it so much easier to work with. I put aluminum foil over the base plate and close the ‘ring’ around it to get a nice tight seal. Then I butter the two together. The foil will make it easier to decant the cake once it’s baked. [Oh, and don’t be stingy with the butter!]

3. Peel the apples and slice them thinly [leaving out the core of course]. Arrange the slices over the base of your baking dish and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar [or just plain sugar if you prefer].

4. Cream the butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer. [If you forget to let the butter come to room temperature first, cut it into small chunks before trying to cream it with the sugar].

5. Add the beaten egg to the butter in about 4 go’s, beating the mix well between each addition. [At this point the mix could ‘curdle’ – i.e. begin to look granular – so I sprinkle about a teaspoon of the flour in with each addition of egg. The flour stops the curdling].

6. When all the egg has been added to the mix, sift the rest of the flour over the mix and fold in by hand. [If you’re lazy like me you can skip the sifting part without any dramas].

7. Spread the cake mix over the apple and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer through the middle comes out clean. [If the tip of the skewer feels ‘sticky’ leave the cake a little longer].

8. Take the cake out of the oven. Gently run a knife around the inside of the pan, and then undo the ring-form. You will now have the cake sitting on just the base plate. Take a cake rack [cooling stand] and place it on top of the cake. Hold the rack in place with one hand as you carefully flip the cake over. Now hold the base plate by the aluminum foil and gently lift away. You should be left with the fruit on top.

Storing this cake is never a problem as we tend to eat it within two days. However once the cake has cooled, you should cover it with cling wrap.

And there you have your upside down apple cake! Serve hot or cold, with cream or ice-cream. or just plain. Trust me, this buttery cake is more than good enough to eat plain. And think of the calories you’d be saving. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Enjoy!

Meeks


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