Eats by Anna: Orange & Almond Cake

Everyone needs a little bit of Vitamin C in their life and what better way to enjoy it than with this delicious gluten-free Orange & Almond cake created by Eats by Anna. In our latest instalment with the self-confessed 'kitchen magpie', Anna shows us how to make this baking staple into something spectacular.

Oranges

This must be the most ubiquitous gluten-free option on cafe menus, and for a good reason - it's moist, redolent with evocative perfume of oranges and the musky undertone of almonds. Every cook has their own version of this cake, the main variable being whether honey or cane sugar is used as the sweetener. I've eschewed both and have used coconut sugar instead. It lends a lovely caramel texture but without the cloying feel honey can often add.

I've used Kerikeri oranges here, but you can use whatever citrus is in season. Tangelos work well, and so do the combination of oranges and limes.

Ground almonds are a pretty pricey ingredient. Check out your local Indian or Middle Eastern grocer where ground almonds can be bought for a steal!

ORANGE & ALMOND CAKE

You will need:

• 2 large, or 3 medium oranges

• 5 free-range eggs

• 2 ½ cups ground almonds

• Just less than 1 cup coconut sugar

• 1 tsp baking powder

• Icing sugar, to dust

Directions:

  1. Grease and line a 22cm springform baking tin.
  2. Wash the oranges under running water then place the whole oranges in a large pot, cover with water and cook at a gentle boil for an hour before removing them and setting them aside to cool.
  3. While oranges are cooling, heat oven to 180° Celsius. Slice the cooked and cooled oranges, but keep any juices, and add the fruit and juices to the jug of your blender. Blend skin and all until you have a beautifully fragrant pulp.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the orange pulp and coconut sugar and sift in the ground almond and baking powder. Mix thoroughly to combine then pour the cake batter into the prepared tin.
  5. Bake for around an hour, or until the cake is uniformly golden on top and springs back when you touch it. You may need to cook the cake for up to another 10-12 minutes if it still feels too soft in the centre - it all depends on your oven.
  6. Let the cake cool in the tin before turning it out - this is essential! If you try to turn it out while still very warm you'll end up in tears. If you like, dust the cake with icing sugar and serve with Greek yoghurt or a drizzle of Lewis Road Creamery cream.

Almond & Orange Cake

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Eats by Anna: Zuchetti With Chorizo, Tomato & Black Garlic Dressing

After a long day working what could be more perfect than an easy dinner that's also healthy and gourmet? In our latest Eats by Anna installment, Anna shares her delicious zuchetti creation that is light and full of flavour. Sounds just like our kind of thing!

zuchetti

This is a great quick and healthy dinner for those busy evenings we're all having. Zuchetti is my name for these spaghetti-style ribbons made with zucchini. The dish combines raw and cooked ingredients which makes for a slightly warm, not hot, dish, a lovely way to eat in the summer months. Black garlic is an amazing ingredient to get your hands on. It’s basically whole heads of garlic that have been specially fermented until they are soft and black. The flavour is complex – tart, caramelised, almost licorice-like and umami all at once. It might sound odd, but trust me, it’s delicious and a great way to pack a whole lot of flavour into all sorts of dishes, and it’s full of antioxidants. All of the top chefs are using it and now it’s easy for the rest of us to buy, try online here.

ZUCHETTI WITH CHORIZO, TOMATO AND BLACK GARLIC DRESSING

You will need:

• 4 medium zucchini, washed and trimmed
• Juice of 1 lemon
• Flaky sea salt
• 400g good quality chorizo
• 150g mushrooms, cut into quarters
• 6 smallish, ripe vine tomatoes, cut into quarters
• 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
• 3 cloves black garlic, finely chopped
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch chilli flakes
• ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

chilli

Directions:

  1. Make the zuchetti using whatever tool you have. If you have the time, let the zuchetti sit in a colander over a bowl so that excess liquid can drain out. In a large serving dish, toss the zuchetti with half of the lemon juice and a teaspoon or so of flaky sea salt and set aside.
  2. Cook the chorizo in a lightly oiled frying pan until cooked through. If you’re using a good quality smoked and dried chorizo you just want to warm it through briefly, as it’s already cured. Once cooked, slice on the diagonal into bite-size pieces and add to the dish with the zuchetti.
  3. In the same frying pan, sauté quartered mushrooms in a little olive oil for just a few minutes until soft, then add a splash of aged balsamic vinegar, let it bubble up then add the mushrooms to the zuchetti, scraping any juices, into the dish. Add the tomatoes and coriander.
  4. Make the dressing by combining the black garlic, olive oil, the rest of the lemon juice, a pinch of chilli flakes or fresh chilli, seasoned with salt and pepper. Toss the dressing through the zuchetti dish, scatter over pine nuts, and serve.

Tips:

• A spiraliser/horizontal slicer such as a Beringer is the best and most expensive tool for making zucchini noodles as it will make even, spiraling ribbons. I use a julienne peeler instead; it’s a cheap tool you can pick up at any good home ware store (Zyliss makes one for around $15). It peels and juliennes vegetables and fruit simultaneously. I use it often for carrot salads, zucchini noodles and to make my favourite Thai green papaya salad (Som Tam). If you have neither, just slice the zucchini into very thin strips by hand.
• You can change out elements in the dish to suit your palate and what you have to hand. Omit the chorizo for a vegetarian meal, use parsley in place of coriander, try adding a white cheese like buffalo mozzarella with black olives and semi-dried tomatoes.

Serves 3

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Eats by Anna: Charlotte's Summer Tomato Tart

The season's gradual progression into colder, darker days has left us wanting to hold onto summer moments all the more; not to mention what comes with it! Days outdoors, airy summer clothing and delicious seasonal fruits and veges. Luckily, Anna from Eats By Anna has the perfect slice of summer happiness for us to enjoy in the final moments of sunshine.

One summer we were lucky enough to spend time with some friends at their family villa in the South of France – an enchanting spot close to a tiny village where although the sun was blazing, the countryside remained green and magical, dotted with old stone buildings. With about twenty guests staying at the house and custom demanding three-course meals at both lunch and dinner, we ate food that was simple, full of flavour and good for sharing. My step-sister Charlotte made several tomato tarts similar to this one each lunchtime, and I can tell you a slice tasted heavenly in that heady atmosphere – and it still does wherever you are on a beautiful summers’ day.

You absolutely want to make this tart when tomatoes are at their height of summer best – now! And you really ought to make it using fleshy, heavy tomatoes such as Beefsteak and other heirloom varieties – they have less liquid and seeds which can make the tart soggy. In any case, I recommend slicing your tomatoes and then letting them drain in a sieve for 20 minutes or so – turning occasionally – to let excess liquid drain away.

Tomato

SUMMER TOMATO TART

You will need:

• 200g Plain Flour
• 100g Butter - chilled and cut into cubes
• 1 Egg
• ¼ tsp Salt
• 1 Tbsp Water
• 800g Fleshy Tomatoes
• 1 Heaped Tbsp Dijon Mustard
• ¾ Cup of Cheese such as Comte, Emmental or Maasdaam

Optional: Olives, Red Onion, Basil and Feta

Directions:

Short Pastry Base:

  1. Put flour, butter, egg, salt and water in a food processor and blitz until it forms a ball. Or if you’re mixing by hand, make sure the butter is finely chopped or grated and run into the other ingredients using fingertips to make a crumb-like texture.
  2. Tip dough out onto floured or non-stick surface and roll out to about 3mm thick. Line the greased tray with dough and trim the edges. If you find it tricky rolling out the dough and transferring it, you can always just press the dough out gently with your fingertips to line the tin – but don’t handle it excessively or you’ll end up with tough pastry.
  3. Put lined tin in fridge for 20 minutes to chill, while you heat the oven to 180° Celsius.

Tart Filling:

  1. Slice about 800g fleshy tomatoes and let them drain for 20 minutes.
    2.Take chilled pastry base form fridge and blind bake in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes to par-cook and seal the top of the base.
  2. Spread Dijon mustard over the par-cooked base, then scatter over grated cheese. Arrange tomato slices on top. If you like, add some sliced red onion and/or Kalamata olives. Scatter with flaky sea salt and grind over black pepper, then bake in hot oven for around 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are starting to shrivel a little, and bubbling, and pastry is cooked through.
  3. If you like, scatter over some crumbled feta (goat’s is very good) and/or torn basil leaves, and drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil.

Tomato Tart

Bon appetite!

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