BIRTHDAY CAKE

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No, this isn’t my end product, this is the foxy cake (from bloglovin) that made my heart skip a beat and fuel my desire to bake an orange and almond cake for my birthday.

Yes,  I baked my own cake because frankly, I don’t trust any of my friends in the kitchen, plus, wine comes first, I doubt any of them thought of organizing a birthday cake. It’s like the stork delivering babies, birthday cakes are just always there. No one really knows where it comes from, but ever-present on it’s post, the cake is like my mother with a camera, ready for action. Bring on the candles, spittle and sparklers.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups almond flour

1 t cardamom

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t salt

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup honey

1/4 cup melted butter (or extra-virgin olive oil)

thumb of fresh ginger, grated

2 oranges, zested and juiced

2T honey

GARNISH:

Fresh jasmine, roasted almonds, pistachios, forest berries, citrus blossom cream, anything, just put anything on there that would satisfy your heart and make your eyes sparkle.

METHOD:

Preheat your oven to 180ºC.

Prepare a round springform baking tin with butter.

In the bigger bowl, mix the dry ingredients, almond flour, cardamom, salt.

In another bowl, mix the eggs, honey, butter, ginger and orange zest. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.

Fold in until just blended and pour into your prepped baking tin.

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Or just until it’s a gorgeous deep gold colour and the knife comes out clean from the center.

While the cake is bronzing away, heat up the orange juice and table spoon of honey to make a syrup.

The moment that cake sets it’s hot feet on the counter, drench it in the syrup. Allow to cool, even if it’s just slightly, before serving.

My personal serving suggestion would be an orange blossom or jasmine whipped cream, but people go nuts for pistachios, toasted almonds, toasted coconut or you could even make a wicked dark chocolate ganache.

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The honourable Mr tom and cheese

The fabulous pan toastie: The honourable Mr tom and cheese

I can fill the halls of the royal palace, the walls of china and berlin, with love songs and lyrics for pan toasties born from the royal lineage of Monsieur et Madame Croque.

Copious amounts of oozing fragrant cheese, ribboning with each salivating bite put to bed between crusty charred slices of fresh bread marinated in butter or a full green extra virgin olive oil. Add onions or bacon, tomato or egg, for your flavour of the day. WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE!

Today I am perfectly pleased with the honourable Mr tom and cheese.

Ingredients:

Beautiful cheese of choice, I went for a smoked 6 month cheddar

Fresh tomato, sliced

Olives, I spread some love with a chilli olive tapenade

Fresh oreganum, for deep frying

2 slices of bread as you please, seedy whole wheat did the trick

salt and pepper to season

Heat up a fresh full bodied olive oil. It’s ok to have it smoking. The better the quality of oil, the higher temperature you can fire up for cooking before you poison yourself.

Scatter the fresh oreganum in the hot oil and fry until see through, remove quickly and drain it on kitchen towl.

Stack all your goodies on one slice (with the exception of oreganum), season to taste and seal the deal with the other slice.

Ease your sarmie into the hot oiled pan and brown the beauty until the cheese is gooey and outside is as crisp as the librarian’s stare.

Slice and top with the crispy herbs and indulge with a rich espresso maybe even a scoop of buttery gelato.