Tales from kitchen and cellar

Posts Tagged ‘orange’

Autumn Leaf Cake

In Cakes, Cooking, food, Food and Drink on November 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Autumn Leaf Cake












Here is a recent cake I made that was inspired by the falling autumn leaves. It was a time consuming cake but not difficult.

Make yourself a chocolate cake, there are enough recipes out there to suit you and coat the cake in two layers of chocolate buttercream. I made a chocolate ganache buttercream on this occasion.

You do need to buy fondant icing in at least two colours, here I chose pumpkin orange and caramel brown. You will also need some leaf cutters in at least three different shapes.

I used oak, maple and ash I believe!

Warm your fondant icing in your hand and kneed until pliable. You can then roll out a little sausage shaped length in two colours and twist together. Roll out to a good pound thickness and cut out your leaves. Do this in small batches so you get a range of marbled leaf shapes.

Leave to harden over a curved surface such as a rolling pin or wine bottle, leave some to dry flat.

When the leaves harden arrange at the base of the cake pushing into the icing to neaten the edge and in a pile on the top.




Decadent Orange Polenta Cake

In Baking, Cakes, Cooking, food on August 9, 2012 at 10:50 am









Who doesn’t like cake? Sorry, don’t answer that! Very few at any rate and for those who are looking for something a little different to a classic sponge then this rich, sumptuous, glossy orange cake might be just the ticket.

Dense and delicious, rich and yummy this is a serious cake from Ottolenghi the cookbook. It’s a little effort but worth it.


50g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

200g unsalted butter

200g caster sugar

3 free range eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp orange blossom water

240g ground almonds

120g quick cook polenta

Caramel Topping

90g caster sugar

2tbsp water

20g unsalted butter cut into cubes

2-3 oranges

Glaze (optional)

3tbsp orange marmalade (shredless)

1 tbsp water


Preheat oven to 170 Gas Mark 3

Take an 8 inch cake tin, grease and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

Place the sugar and the water for the caramel in a pan and bring gently to the boil, do not stir or the sugar will crystalise. After a few minutes the sugar will start to darken to a golden caramel. Remove from the heat and stepping back from the pan add the butter.

Pour the caramel into the base of your cake tin and swirl around so the base of the tin is fully covered.

Zest your oranges being careful not to remove the bitter pith and set to one side.

Carefully cut off the rind of the oranges and slice into 6 discs removing any seeds as you go along. Place the orange slices into the caramel and pack in tightly. Use an extra orange if necessary.

Start with the cake batter. With the help of a kitchen aid or electric beaters cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs, orange blossom water and zest.

Fold in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour in the tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Leave to cool completely.

You can glaze the cake with some warmed shredless marmalade for extra shine. Serve with a little sweetened mascarpone for a sweet sharp twang.


Super Summer Salad

In Cooking, food, Food and Drink on July 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Iberico ham, orange, chicory, mozarella and pine nut salad

I saw the sun today, it’s brief appearance (around 15 minutes) reminded me of all the salads I hoped to have created this year, inspired by the abundance of summer produce. As the bright sunshine disappeared behind a gloomy thick cloud never to return today I was not put off and decided to pay homage to its fleeting appearance with this rainbow coloured salad with its glimmers of orange to denote the sun.

So here it is my super summer salad…

Ingredients serves 2

Fresh salad leaves of your choice (e.g baby gem)


Pea shoots

Iberico ham

Good quality mini mozarella balls ( I used a Garofalo)

3 tbsp pine nuts

1 juicy jaffa orange

extra virgin olive oil

balsamic vinegar


Wash the salad leaves and dry thoroughly. Slice and segment your orange into little bite size slithers. In a dry pan toast the pinenuts until golden.

Arrange the salad leaves on to a plate, tear the mozarella balls into pieces and place amongst the salad leaves, add the ham and finally the orange slithers.

Scatter the pinenuts on top and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Eat immediately!

My oh Mai Tai Tastic

In Food and Drink on May 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

Perfect Mai Tai

As some of you may gather I am sucker for a delicious cocktail and Dimitri our local bar tender at Wokingham Gourmet Kitchen is always happy to oblige. This Mai Tai is as good as any I have tried in the world and was so superbly executed that I thought it warranted a mention on Tales from Kitchen and Cellar!

Apparently Mata’i means “good” in Tahitian and its invention is said to be based on a famous trader who made the drink for some visiting friends from Tahiti, to which they cried on drinking it “Matai’i roa ae!” meaning very good or the best!

And so the Mai Tai was born and it has to be in the top 5 of my favourite cocktails.

Here is a good guideline recipe for 1…


  • ¾ oz. Light Rum
  • ¾ oz. Dark Rum
  • ½ oz. Amaretto
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec

Fill with:

  • ½ Orange Juice
  • ½ Pineapple Juice
Orange wedge for garnish


Pour light rum, creme de almond and  triple sec, in order, into a collins glass. Almost fill with equal parts of  sweet and sour mix and pineapple juice. Add dark rum, a large straw, and serve  unstirred. Or if you have a shaker place all ingredients  inside, shake and serve for a frothy top finish!