Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Kitchen is the best place to be on a Snowy Day

Another snowy, windy, cold day loomed yesterday. After managing to get a walk with Bracken between showers and doing the ironing I decided it was time to be creative in the kitchen. For me it's one of the best places to be on a horrible weather day. Cosy with the oven on, the radio in the background, being creative and producing food for the ones I love to enjoy.

Ready made tart cases ready for filling

I started with Frangipan tarts for dessert that evening. We don't often have pudding, but it's nice for a treat. These are simple to make, especially if using ready made tart cases (you can make your own, sometime I do, sometimes I like to make life simpler). 

A couple of teaspoons of raspberry jam in the bases

You can use any flavour if you don't like Raspberry

Next make the sponge mix, I use a food processor, but you can do it by hand in a bowl as I did until I saved up for a new processor a few months ago. Cream the butter (100g) and golden caster sugar (90g) together. Add and egg, ground almonds (100g), zest of half an orange and a tbsp of vanilla essence and mix until a nice smooth mix is made. Spoon this on top of the tart cases and level out.

The cake mix on the tarts

Place in the oven at 190C / 375F / gas 5 and back for 18 minutes or until the sponge is springy to the touch and golden brown. Remove and cool. Just before serving sieve some icing sugar over the top, we had them with creme fraiche, but you could have cream, ice cream or just as they are.

Frangipan tarts, delicious, I love almondy foods so these were perfect

Celery, one of the ingredients for the sausage pasta we had for dinner

Chicory and watercress salad with lemon, olive oil and parmasan dressing

Sausage pasta, this went down well with the men folk

Parmasan flakes on the salad

Ingredients and tools of the trade

My trusty juicer, sometimes old school tools are the best

Left over ora
Next I had an orange cake to finish. I'd made the sponges the previous day by making a basic sponge mix with some orange juice and zest added. Now to sandwich them together and decorate for Wednesday night's dinner. A really simple filling is butter icing, not too much as it gets sickly, even for my sweet tooth.

Sponge cake waiting to be decorated

Making the butter icing

To make butter icing for this cake Icreamed together 100g butter and 200g icing sugar, adding in 2 tbsp orange juice and zest of half an orange. Once smooth it can be spread on the bottom layer of cake.

Adding the zest to the butter icing
Place the second sponge on top and mix together the icing. For this cake I used 125g icing sugar and juice from half an orange. It can vary one way or the other depending on the consistency and quantity you prefer for your icing. Finaly place some strips of zest on top for the final flourish. I have a paring knife that does this very easily.

The finished cake

Zest strips to decorate

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  1. I've never made an orange cake before. My boys love a lemon drizzle. But I may make this for the weekend.
    Leanne xx

    1. I love lemon drizzle cake too :) This is a nice alternative, I really like the orange flavoured icing on the top :) x

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