Tag Archives: very easy recipe

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


Red Tea and Profiteroles

Red Seal Blood Orange Tea with homemade Profiteroles

I’ve loved profiteroles – also known as cream puffs – for decades but never tried my hand at making them because I thought they’d be ‘too hard’, ‘too fiddly’, and probably wouldn’t work anyway.

Part of that negativity stemmed from the fact that I ordered a Croque-en-bouche [Croquembouche in English] for my wedding cake, and it really was a gastronomic delight. Mine didn’t have strawberries, otherwise it looked a lot like this:

By Eric Baker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4120063

No way in the wide world I could make something like that…right?

Wrong. In fact, as the profiteroles at the top prove, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Making them was probably one of the easiest things the Offspring and I have ever done. And we owe it all to my good friend Marian Allen, author extraordinaire, and a damn fine cook!

If anyone’s interested, I first met Marian via her book ‘Sideshow in the Centre Ring’ which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve since read just about everything she’s published and…I’ve fallen in love with her cats. Waves to Tipper and Chickie. And now back to dessert…

The only thing I messed up that didn’t quite work was the chocolate ganache on top of the profiteroles. I was getting a bit tired by the time it came to putting the profiteroles together and the ganache [the chocolate on top] turned into a delicious, but runny sauce instead.

Oh, and if I’m being honest, I made one more mistake: I made seven profiteroles. Not six, or four, or any other number that is easily divisible by two. No, in my infinite wisdom I made seven…

Have you ever tried to cut a profiterole in half so both of you could share equally? Don’t. Just don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway…the Offspring and I were so impressed with the profiteroles I decided to do this post and give you guys the chance to try them as well. Without further ado, here is Marian Allen’s recipe for profiteroles/cream puffs with my comments in brackets!

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter
    [or 30 gms or 1 oz]
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
    [plain flour to us Aussies]
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • cream for whipping
    [however much you want or have on hand]
  • chocolate and extra cream for the ganache
    [we used about 3 oz of each but the ratio wasn’t right. Maybe 3 oz of chocolate to 1 of cream?]

This makes about four biggish puffs. I doubled this and made them smaller and got 10.
[I compromised and made 7. Next time I’m making it an even number!]

Directions

Bring water, salt and butter to a boil. Add the flour and stir it until it forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the pan. If youโ€™re not making a large batch, you may need to take it off the heat immediately.
[The Offspring did this part and the dough came together very quickly so don’t wander off!]

The dough coming together in the saucepan

Let this rest for 5 minutes while you crack and mix up your egg(s). Add the egg(s) to the flour ball. It will look alarming, but keep mixing: It WILL combine.
[So glad Marian made that comment because we looked at the dough plus egg and might have given up otherwise. The Offspring used a wooden spoon to start with but then I had a go with a whisk and it mixed beautifully, exactly as Marian said it would]

The dough after the egg has been mixed in

Pipe into the shape you want using a pastry bag, or plop it in spoonfuls (the MomGoth method onto an ungreased baking pan.
[We used the MomGoth method too but placed some baking paper on the baking tray first. Easier clean up. ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

Piles of profiterole dough on a baking sheet prior to baking

Bake at 375F
[180 C for us, a tiny bit less if using the fanbake setting of the oven]
for about 1/2 hour, or until there is not one glint or bubble of moisture on the surface of any of the puffs. Donโ€™t check very often. I got a stove with a glass front just so I could make creme puffs. Crazy.

When theyโ€™re done, cool them on a rack.

Meanwhile, make ganache for the top. Dead easy.

Ganache

Measure equal amounts of chopped semi-sweet chocolate or good chocolate chips and cream.
[This was where I messed up. I weighed the chocolate and the cream. I think I should have used a cup measurement instead.]

Put the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the cream until it just begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until itโ€™s all mixed together and dark and glossy.
[This really was as simple as it sounds!]

Assemble

Put the cream into a piping bag. I donโ€™t have one (have one on order), so I put the cream into a plastic sandwich bag and cut off the tip.
[We didn’t have a piping bag either and decided to use the cookie machine instead. It worked but made a mess as the cream was wetter than cookie dough. Oh well. Piping bag placed on order too].

Using a cookie machine to pipe whipped cream into profiteroles

Poke a hole in the side of a puff, stick the pointy end of the bag into the hole, and squeeze the cream in.
[We whipped the cream with about two teaspoons of icing sugar, so sweetish but not gaggingly sweet. Adjust to suit your own tastes].

You can feel the puff inflate with it. When the puffs are all filled, dip the tops into the ganache or spoon it over them.

And then see how fast they disappear! Honestly, we could have eaten another whole batch, they were so delicious. I can see us baking these scrumptious goodies on a regular basis because the process really was easy.

Thank you, Marian!


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