Tag Archives: orange

Recipe and Review: Blood Orange Jaffa Cakes and Deceptive Desserts

When I got back to work after my long service leave earlier this year, I discovered a cookbook on my desk, courtesy of one of my Professors.  This is an excellent way to come back from long service leave and I highly recommend it to any who are considering such a thing.  The book was  Deceptive Desserts: A Lady’s Guide to Baking Bad! (which I see is actually discounted at the Book Depository right now), and it is a rather brilliant collection of recipes for ill-advised treats – face-hugger cake, cannoli with little kitten faces, Frankenstein’s monster cake, terror-mi-su, cinnamon buns shaped to look like serpents ready to strike, cat-lady jello, and my personal favourite, screaming strawberries in vanilla mousse with chocolate tentacles.

It’s kind of like someone watched a lot of 1980s Dr Who and then read the Australian Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book right before bedtime, and then had nightmares.

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The illustrations are truly a thing of beauty – Christine McConnell, who is a stylist and photographer as well as a baker, photographs herself in vintage costumes that coordinate with her various disturbing desserts, with the occasional cat in the background, looking appalled.

The recipes are also nicely varied – it isn’t the sort of cake book that gives you six basic recipes at the start and then focuses on how to decorate them; there are recipes for sugar cookies (decorated to look like gravestones), waffle cones, various mousses and jellies, lime meringue cakes, devil’s food cakes, donuts (disguised as fried chicken and vegetables), banana bread, caramel popcorn, peppermint brownies, and apple pie, to name a random assortment.  I would note that the recipes are American and thus tend to have rather more sugar than I prefer in my cakes, but this is a minor quibble for an extremely fun and comprehensive book.

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Angelique’s Banana Bread

This is a gluten-free banana cake I put together for a friend of mine.  It’s a nice, easy cake to put together, and good for afternoon tea, as it’s solid, but not too sweet.

I must admit, I had my doubts about this cake initially.  You see, I used quinoa flour, and I used a different brand from usual (McKenzies, if you’re wondering), and it turns out that this particular brand has quite a strong taste.  I could still detect it in the final, baked recipe, which was annoying.  But in fact, it grew on me pretty fast, and I actually rather like it.  Though not enough to use the same brand next time.

Looking around, it turns out that quite a lot of people don’t like quinoa flour.  If this is you, don’t despair – more rice flour would work.  Alternatively, I note several food writers suggest ‘heat treating’ or toasting quinoa flour before use – apparently the trick is to spread out your quinoa flour on a baking sheet and bake it at 100°C for two hours.  I’ll be doing this next time – quinoa is a useful flour because of its high-protein ways, and this is an advantage worth keeping.

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2 over-ripe bananas
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup (approximately one drained tin) crushed pineapple
1/3 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp gingerbread spice mix, mixed spice, or ginger
1 cup rice flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder

For the icing:
250 g light cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups icing sugar

 

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Recipe: Winter Tuna Salad with Fennel, Orange and Hazelnuts

I love salads, but it feels weird to buy tomatoes and capsicums and cucumbers and other summer vegetables when it’s freezing cold outside and probably pouring with rain, too.  So as the year changes, I start swapping out my summer greens and vegetables for more wintry fare – red cabbage, apples, celery, citrus fruits, fennel, kale, and lots of nuts and legumes.

This is a recent lunchbox favourite of mine, making the most of the cooler weather and the beautiful things that are in season even now, when the idea of getting out into the garden isn’t terribly inviting.  I think I even prefer this to my summer tuna salad – I like the acidity of the orange and the earthy flavour of the hazelnuts and chickpeas, and even fennel has started to grow on me.

But mostly I’m posting this recipe because it made my office-mate envious last time I brought it in for lunch, which is a good indicator in my book!

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1/4 red onion
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 x 125 g tin chickpeas
1 small or half large fennel bulb
1 orange
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
2 handfuls baby spinach, rocket or parsley, or a combination of both (or any other likely winter greens that aren’t too bitter)
1 x 90g tin tuna packed in olive oil

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Recipe: Gluten-free orange and cardamom wafers

These were going to be cut-out biscuits for the Ovarian Cancer fundraising Morning Teal, but first I wanted to make them without egg, for my friend who can’t eat eggs, and then I thought I’d make them gluten-free, for my friend who can’t eat gluten and by the time I was done inventing a new gluten-free flour and messing with the recipe as is my wont, my beautiful ribbon and dinosaur-shaped biscuits spread all over the biscuit tray and ran together until they looked like mis-shapen brandy snaps – thin, a little bit flexible while hot, and generally wafer-like.

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They were also really yummy, which was almost adding insult to injury, at this point.  I decided to cut the next batch into circles, and sandwich them together with blue curaçao icing, for the purposes of the morning tea, and they were pretty good like that, but secretly I knew that my ugly biscuits had a much better fate before them – they were made to go with ice-cream or whipped cream and fruit.

So that’s what I did with them for dessert the following night, and I was right – they were great with icecream.  And they will be even better with whipped cream, if I can find the right configuration for them.

If I were making them again, I’d plan to shape them into baskets over the back of a glass or something similar – they really have that sort of personality.  Then again, this recipe makes about a hundred wafers, so maybe not.  I’d probably go mad.  You can certainly halve this recipe – the reason I’ve made it so large is to make the gluten-free flour mix manageable.  But you can make the mix, pull out 250 g of it and set the rest aside for gluten-free cupcakes (which is what I did with the rest of it), if you prefer.

All dressed up for Morning Teal

All dressed up for Morning Teal

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1 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
1/3 cup cornflour
1/3 cup potato flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (polenta)
440 g caster sugar
440 g butter, softened
zest of two oranges
2 tsp ground cardamom seed
1 tsp bicarb of soda
pinch of salt

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Recipe: Green Rainbow Smoothie

thumbLet’s start by admitting one thing about this smoothie: it isn’t green.  Nor is it rainbow coloured.  But it is still a Green Smoothie, because from everything I can see, any smoothie with green leafy stuff in it counts as green.  And it definitely starts looking a bit more swampy after a few hours in the fridge, though that probably isn’t a selling point in most circumstances (it still tastes fine, honest). As for the Rainbow Smoothie side of things, I feel the ingredients speak for themselves:

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See? Rainbow.  True, blue is a tad under-represented, but I felt that adding Blue Curaçao to a breakfast smoothie might undermine its credibility in the healthy breakfast stakes. Though the flavour would be quite complementary, if you wanted to go with the Healthy Yet Hair Of The Dog option.  Just saying.  Not that I am advocating alcoholic breakfasts, unless they are pancakes, which are a different matter entirely.

Wow, this recipe went off the rails pretty fast, didn’t it?

Anyway.  I have to admit, 9/10 of the inspiration for this recipe was the ‘hey, I can use lots of colours’ thing, and the other 1/10 was ‘hmm, better use up this kale before it leaves the fridge under its own steam’.

God, this is sounding worse and worse.

It’s actually a pretty nice smoothie, not that I expect you to believe me at this point.  It’s fairly mild in flavour – I was a bit iffy about it at first sip, but liked it more and more the more I drank (and now you really will think I filled it full of Blue Curaçao and truly and honestly I did not, it’s just late on a Thursday night and I’m apparently insane), so the almond milk actually gets to be a bit of a feature rather than just the thing you use to thin out your smoothie, and the banana is a little more present than usual, too.  I’d be inclined to add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg next time, in fact. 

And no, I really wouldn’t add Blue Curaçao to this.  (Rum would be a much better match for the almondy flavour…) (Stop it, Catherine!)

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1 small banana
5 smallish kale leaves
90 g blackberries or blueberries, frozen is good
110 g strawberries (you really can fiddle around with the berries a fair bit, though.  This was just the contents of my fridge and freezer)
1/3 cup orange juice, to which you will not add vodka, because this is not that sort of breakfast, what are you thinking?  You might also peel a medium-sized orange, remove most of the pith, and put it all in whole – I would have done this, if I had been able to find a ripe orange on my tree.
1 cup almond milk

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Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: Orange!

Today is the first day of my new pantry, which is just another way of saying I accidentally spent nearly $100 on spices and salts and infused sugars this morning.  It was very, very tempting to make spices my theme for this month, but I did that in April, and one wouldn’t want to be repetitive.  Then I thought about all the dark, leafy greens coming into season and got all enthused about a green leafy vegetable theme, only everyone thinks that vegetarians eat nothing but rabbit food anyway.

Green was clearly right out.  Let’s do a different colour instead.

The JUNE 2013 theme is ORANGE!

(because oranges are not the only orange-coloured fruit) Continue reading