Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The last of the blood oranges

Sorry for the recent lack of correspondence.  My computer is misbehaving and not loading my photos with the pleasure it used to.  Not sure why.

Here are some more spring flowers in the garden.  The warm weather has really got everything going.
Quince blossom complete with bee
Pity that in the last week we have had rain and even some hail so we have had a bit of a return to winter.  Still the garden always appreciates a drink.  Now that lamb marking is in full swing we are guaranteed to get some rain.

This winter I have been able to get organic blood oranges from our wonderful local deli, Pronto in Warrnambool.  They are so beautiful and I have been making sorbet, putting them in salads and enjoying the juice.  As we were recently given some local olive oil to taste, I thought it the perfect opportunity to try the Blood Orange and Olive Oil cake that I have been eyeing off at Smitten Kitchen.
This cake is well worth making.  It is easy and I'm sure would freeze well.  I did use less sugar, and I did find that the orange pieces sank to the bottom, but it doesn't really matter.

BLOOD ORANGE CAKE (from Smitten Kitchen)

3 blood oranges
160g castor sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
a scant 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cup (220g) plain flour
1 teasp baking powder
1/4 teasp bicarb soda
1/4 teasp salt

Preheat the oven to 180c.  Line a loaf tin (the one I used was 23cm x 13cm) with baking paper.
Grate zest from two of the oranges and put in a bowl with the sugar.  Mix together.
Peel and segment two oranges, catching juice in a bowl.

Squeeze juice from remaining orange and add enough buttermilk till you have 2/3 cup liquid in total.
Add to sugar and mix.  Whisk in eggs and olive oil.
In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.
Mix wet ingredients into dry, gently using a whisk if you need to get out any flour lumps.  Pour into tin.
Bake 45-50 minutes till a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then take out of tin to cool completely.  It would be good with some greek yoghurt or cream on the side.
The other thing I am loving in this seasonal transition is the last of the broccoli.   Since there is only so much steamed broccoli you can eat I have been roasting it and pan frying it till it's nice and crispy and using it in salads.   I originally saw this at the stonesoup and have been running with it.
Here I just threw it in with some poached chicken, salad leaves from the garden, some toasted flaked almonds and a slice of grilled haloumi for good measure.  And some dressing (vinocotto, olive oil, s & p).  It made a delicious and healthy lunch.

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