Saturday, October 18, 2014

Citrus + Almond Cake with Yoghurt Drizzle

I keep making these type of cakes and then forgetting which recipe I used or where I even got it from. This makes it frustrating when I'm trying to recall my favourite (and I know there is one!). Losing one's marbles was not the only calamity in the kitchen this morning.  My attempt at making a yoghurt icing saw it start off creamy and end up runny - fail!  So it transformed into a yoghurt drizzle. Ah well, in the end we still got to eat cake and sometimes that's all that matters, as Marie Antoinette was wont to point out (maybe?).

I was given a lovely homemade present of a jar of brandied kumquats (thank you, Penny) and used the last of them in this cake, making up the difference in quantity with some homegrown oranges.  I am sure the liqueur in the kumquats adds greatly to the taste (hic). Now I get to keep the leftover liquid for six months until it has reached a thick, sweet syrup - can't wait to try it.

Before you start this recipe, bear in mind you will need to boil the oranges first and let them cool before you start baking.

Citrus & Almond Cake with Yoghurt Drizzle

Approx. 3 smallish oranges (375 grams)
6 eggs
225g sugar
250g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder

Place the whole oranges in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer for one hour. Drain and leave until cold.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Butter and line a 20cm cake tin.

Cut the cooked oranges in quarters and remove the pips. Place the whole fruits in a food processor with a metal blade and blitz until finely chopped. Add eggs and sugar and process until well combined. Finally add ground almonds and baking powder and pulse until just mixed.

Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts to brown too much, cover loosely with tin foil.

Remove from the oven and leave in the tin but place on a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, dust with icing sugar or a lemon glaze or the yoghurt drizzle below.

Yoghurt Drizzle

1 cup Greek yoghurt
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup icing sugar, sifted
100g cream cheese

Whisk (by hand or electric) the ingredients together until smooth. Keep refrigerated until required. Spoon or drizzle over the cake.

I decorated my cake with some edible flowers (well the pink one on the left may not be edible but the others are) and freeze-dried raspberry powder.

This will be my October entry for Sweet New Zealand which I am hosting here.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sweet New Zealand

This month, it's my turn to host Sweet New Zealand. So, I am on the lookout for sweet recipes from our NZ food blogging community. You can be a New Zealander living here or overseas. You can be from overseas and living in New Zealand. Just give me something sweet, please. Take it away - I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Sweet New Zealand is open to all food bloggers living in New Zealand (even if you are not a New Zealander), as well as all Kiwi food bloggers who live overseas.
You can enter with anything sweet - cakes, cookies, desserts, or even drinks. 
You can submit as many entries as you like and they don't have to be new blog posts. 
Your entry must contain the phrase Sweet New Zealand and have the Sweet New Zealand badge (you can copy and save the one on this page).
Your entry must link to the host (me!) and to this post. If you're submitting an old post remember to update it with the phrase, badge and links.

Enter now
Email your entries to me at flatwhite233(at)xtra(dot)co(dot)nz by 30 October, with the following:

Your name
Your blog name
A link to your blog
A link to the blog post you're entering
A photo from the post
The name of the recipe and a brief description

Sweet New Zealand - September

Here's a link to last month's Sweet New Zealand round up at Mummy Do It

Friday, October 3, 2014

Asparagus Tarts

If it's Spring (in New Zealand anyway), it must be asparagus season. 

Being a semi-reluctant vegetable eater, I like my vegetables adorned with extras (think cauliflower in a cheese sauce), so I usually roast asparagus with olive oil, garlic and lemon zest (see below). Taking this embellishment a (big) step further, I'm delighted to say they taste just wonderful in this creamy filling wrapped in a rich pastry.

These tarts are ideal for lunch (or a simple supper dish). Serve with a lightly dressed salad of bitter greens such as rocket, red leaf lettuce, watercress, radicchio and endive, for contrast.

Asparagus Tarts 


350g plain flour
½ tsp salt
200g butter
4-5 tbsp cold water


1 bunch cooked asparagus*
300ml single cream
2 egg yolks
sea salt & ground pepper
pinch nutmeg or freshly grated nutmeg

* For extra flavour, I roast mine in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, crushed garlic and lemon zest for 12-15 minutes but you can boil the spears lightly in salted water until tender.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.  Add 175g of the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips.  Add the water and bind to a dough.

Roll the dough out on to a lightly floured board and cut to the size of your tart tins. I used four mini tart tins with a base diameter of 8.5cm and a top diameter of 11.5cm. 

Line the base of the tins with a circle of baking paper (I do this even though I use non-stick tins - just in case!).  Using a fork, prick the base of each tart then place the tart tins on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Remove the tray with the tart tins from the oven while you prepare the filling.  Turn the oven down to 180 degrees C. 

Cut the asparagus to fit and divide between the tins.  Whisk the cream and egg yolks together and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Pour the mix carefully and evenly amongst the tins. Depending on the size of your tins, you may have some left over.

Return the tarts to the oven and bake for 15 minutes until filling has set.  The filling should be just set and no more.

Serve with a lightly dressed salad of bitter greens.