For an afternoon tea yesterday, I seized the opportunity to bake. The first few months on Weight Watchers I missed baking so much, but special occassions are the perfect chance to head back into those waters.
At Christmas, Dr K gave Sean and I a cook book from a beloved TV show, Food Safari. If you don’t know it or don’t live here, it’s a gorgeous half hour program that’s part cooking, part cultural exploration. Each episode sees the host, Maeve O’Mara take us around the world without leaving Australian shores. She speaks to chefs and home cooks who speak passionately about their own heritage through food and glimpses into their lives. It’s just wonderful and finally, there is a book with highlights from the show.
I made a Greek salad on the weekend which was fantastic but the real treat was the Jewish Almond and Orange cake, recipe and short clip from the show here.
I managed to save a little of the cake for photos, and for Sean.
The amazing thing about this cake, which is described as ‘a classic Passover dessert drawing on the Sephardic traditions of Morocco, the Mediterranean and the Middle East (where citrus was more available)’ is that you boil two oranges whole for two hours, allow to cool, then puree the lot before adding them to a simple mixture of eggs, sugar, almond meal and baking powder. Nothing could be simpler. I did the oranges the day before and whipped up the cake in the morning on Sunday. As someone who doesn’t ever eat oranges, I am pleased to say it’s all about flavour and moisture and not a bit about feeling like you’re eating pith or skin or any of the other nasty orange attributes.
It’s dense without being heavy, rich without being over the top and best of all, no flour or butter, so it’s the ultimate gluten-free cake, if that’s an issue for you. I loved this cake so much! An instant new standard for me, I believe.
It’s not possible to let a post on cake go without showing you this.
A Yarn Cake
The afternoon tea was for a knitter called Kirsty, who has a lovely and devoted foodie partner called Chris and amongst his many fine contributions to the feast was this cake! A yarn cake! Each ball of yarn is a small cake itself, set atop a dense, rich fruit cake encased in a marzipan basket – I was wrong. A fondant basket! Needles for the finishing touch.
Any bloke who makes a cake like that is a keeper, yes?