Simple Orange Cake (with or without flour)

Very simple orange cake

Always use organic ingredients whenever possible

  • 3 small eggs
  • 1 orange - peeled, seeded and cut into small pieces
  • 200g of melted unsalted butter and more for greasing the tin
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour (or ground almonds, or half of each)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 60ml of Cointreau
  • a good pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease a banking tin with butter.

Sift together the dry ingredients; sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. 

Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light in colour and fluffy.

Fold in the flour, butter and add the orange and Cointreau.

Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes, it's ready when its golden brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. 

Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out. 

You can sprinkle it with icing sugar and some orange zest before serving. 

 

Brown Bread Ice Cream

Delicious homemade ice cream! 

Delicious homemade ice cream! 

Serves 6-8.

100g (3½ oz) brown soda bread or brown yeast bread, in chunks

50g (2 oz) soft brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

150ml (5½ oz) cream

1 tablespoon rum (optional)

2 eggs, separated

125g (4½ oz) sugar

100ml (3½ oz)water

Pinch of cream of tartar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6. Place the chunks of brown bread in a food processor and whiz for 30 seconds to a minute to form coarse breadcrumbs, then add the soft brown sugar and the ground cinnamon and pulse a few times to mix. Spread out the bread, cinnamon and sugar mixture on a baking tray and place in the oven. Toast for about 10 minutes until it is well browned. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Next, whisk the cream until soft peaks appear, then mix in the rum if you're using it, and the egg yolks, and set aside.

Place the sugar and the water in a saucepan and heat slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil fiercely for about 5 minutes until the mixture reaches the 'thread' stage. If you own a sugar thermometer, this is when it reads 106°C-113°C (223°F-236F). If you don't have a sugar thermometer, dip a metal spoon into the mixture; as you remove it, the last drops of sugar syrup will form thin threads if the correct temperature has been reached.

Meanwhile, using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they are stiff. Still whisking, gradually pour in the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream, and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool, glossy and stiff (about 4-5 minutes).

Then add in the whipped-cream and egg-yolk mixture, along with the caramelised breadcrumbs, and fold until mixed through. Tip in to a container with a lid, cover and place in the freezer for a few hours until frozen through. The ice-cream can be scooped straight from the freezer.

I absolutely LOVE this recipe and it brings me right back to my childhood. I love brown bread ice cream so much I could eat a whole batch! But I NEVER feel guilty about it and, like I say, make sure I eat guilt-free! Remember, life is all about balance so a lot over here means that you can compensate with a little over there....

Courgette Cake

This is a super simple cake that you can whip up really quickly. It freezes well and is a very popular afternoon tea treat in my house. It is the EASIEST cake you'll ever make as the courgette melts into the batter making it a lovely moist cake that will keep for a couple of days. I especially love this cake as it doesn't require any accoutrements, no need for cream, icing, or butter- it tastes delicious all on its own!

110g or 1 cup grated courgette (roughly 1 courgette/zucchini)

175g  or 1 cup caster sugar

112ml or half a cup sunflower oil

2 small eggs

1/2 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds, or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

165g, or 1 & 1/4 cup self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 160C/320F/gas mark 5. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the grated courgette, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the wet mixture.

Pour mixture into the loaf tin. Bake for one hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

Leave to cool and turn out.

If you want to make things a little more interesting (and indulgent!) you can add a delicious topping and centre. Simply split the cake in two and spread half the following into the middle, with the rest going on top. Add a few berries to finish:

For the centre and topping

250g (9 oz) tub mascarpone cheese

2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

250g of whipped cream

Berries for garnishing