We've been eating our way through leftovers and things in the freezer to keep January a low spend month. Even the fruit bowl, that had been full of variety on New Year's Eve, this week was down to some lonely oranges, bought for Christmassy recipes. As a fruit to be consumed in their natural state, they are never especially popular here; we're a lazy bunch, and an orange represents too much hard work - all that peeling, the pith, the squirting of juice in all directions...give us clementines, any day!
Fortunately I have a really good orangey cakey recipe, that Daughter, all fired up by the prospect of her impending first ever cookery lessons at school, was eager to attempt, unaided, last Sunday.
|Chocolate, Orange and Almond Torte|
It really is exceptionally yummy and you can kid yourself that it's almost healthier than an orange itself; no fat is added, it's gluten free and the dark chocolate has all those anti0xidants. It's a torte rather than a cake, so it's thin and suitably January-ish. (Ours is a bit thinner than intended. Due to 12 year olds not having much experience at separating eggs the egg whites weren't whisked on their own, as they should have been!) It must be packed with vitamin C, as the sponge is soaked with orange juice, so it's even good for warding off seasonal bugs and viruses.
Despite the torte's healthful benefits, it was a Sunday treat only, and the rest of the week we were feasting on humbler concoctions such as food waste smoothie that was more of a yogurt icecream, made with some of last week's frozen apple juice, a frozen yogurt, frozen food waste grapes and raspberries, and a banana.
Apart from the banana, this was all stuff that, in pre-Food Waste Friday days, might have been left to go well past its sell-by date and thrown away or composted, so it was an extra satisfying dessert.
Chocolate, Orange and Almond Torte
(for the cake)
4 large eggs separated
175g caster sugar
grated rind of 3 large oranges
110g ground almonds
(for the syrup)
juice of 3 large oranges
(for the topping)
100g plain chocolate
100g milk chocolate
toasted flaked almonds
Pre-heat oven to 220 deg c, gas mark 7.
Grease a 9 inch round cake tin.
- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they are thick and creamy. Add the orange rind and mix well. Gradually beat in the ground almonds.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the almond mixture. Pour the mixture into the tin.
- Cook for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 160 deg c, gas mark 3 and cook for a further 15 minutes. The cake will rise and fall down again.
- While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Strain the orange juice and stir in as much sugar as required (we only used a teaspoon). Add the brandy if using.
- Remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving dish. Pour the syrup over the cake. Allow to cool.
- Melt the chocolate and cream in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Pour over the cake and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
Notes: We didn't use as much chocolate, and used plain chocolate only. You'll also see from the picture that we didn't have any almonds to put on top.