Almond and Orange Cake

Almond and Orange Cake

This new year’s eve, we were going to visit a friend in the neighborhood. As always happens, it strikes you at the last minute that you must take something after all it’s New year’s eve!  I had all the listed ingredients at home and what better way to enjoy citrus burst of the season along with the goodness of almonds! Needless to say I made this cake in a jiffy and my friends became its fan, so here we go with the recipe…

Ingredients:

Breadcrumbs – 45 g
Ground almonds – 100 g
Castor sugar – 200 g
Cooking oil – 200 ml
Baking powder – 1 & 1/2
Eggs, beaten – 4
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 lime

For Syrup:

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of half a lime

Sugar – 2 tbsp

Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch

Cloves – 5 to 6

Cointreau – 1tbsp, if you like!

Instructions:

  • Mix all the ingredients together and beat well.
  • Pour the mixture in a greased and lined cake tin.
  • Place it in the cold oven and start the oven (Yes, you put it in the cold oven!). Set the oven to 180 C and bake it for 40-45 mins until golden brown or skewer comes out clean.
  • In the meantime, to make the syrup put all the ingredients in a pan and bring it to boil on low flame/heat.
  • Simmering  for 3-4 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cake is done, remove from tin, prick with fork and slowly pour the syrup over the cake using a spoon. You need to  evenly soak it in the syrup.

Enjoy with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Serves: 10-12

Pesto Pasta Impromptu

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Today, I had an urge to eat pasta, with pesto sauce. All I had was pasta and two handfuls of fresh basil from our little kitchen garden. No, no Olive oil, no Pine kernels and no Parmesan! So then, how on earth am I going to make a pesto?!

As usual, I improvised and believe me it was one of the best pasta I have ever made! Yum!

So here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:

Pasta spirals – 300g

French beans, cut into long pieces (1-2 inch long)  – 200g

Processed cheese, grated – a small block about 50-75g

Basil leaves – 2 handfuls

Almonds, blanched and skin removed – 8-10

Dry red chillies – 2-3

Cooking oil – 1 tbsp

Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed

Eggs, poached/ sunny side up – 4

Butter – 1 tbsp (small block)

Black Pepper – freshly pounded (to taste)

Salt to taste

Instructions:

  • Boil pasta with plenty of water and 2 tsp salt until it is tender and has a bite to it.
  • In the meantime blanch the cut beans or you can microwave, as I did, without any liquid in a glass bowl, covered for 3-4 minutes (on high power)
  • Make a paste of a handful of basil leaves, cheese and almonds with a tbsp water from pasta.
  • In a heavy base pan heat the butter and oil together, add crushed garlic and break dry chilies into it. Sauté for about a minute or until you get the smoky aroma of chilli and garlic.
  • Add drained pasta and cooked beans to the pan. Mix well.
  • Next add the pesto paste, mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finally break rest of the basil leaves with hands and add to the pasta.
  • Serve hot topped with poached eggs.  
  • And enjoy!

 

Serves: 4

Please try and post comments to encourage me to create more recipes.

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