In yesterday's post I wrote that Mr Shady Pine and I were to celebrate Australia Day with our lovely friends Peter and Maria and a barbecue lunch at their place.
I mentioned that I made a batch of these orange almond syrup cakes without dairy for my lactose intolerant friend. Having recently baked with macadamia oil, I decided to use this again in place of butter. I'd never made these before yesterday, so once they were out of the oven, Mr Shady Pine and I had to test one out just in case they weren't up to scratch....luckily they were delicious.
The texture of these cakes is quite dense but moist at the same. And the addition of the orange syrup makes these little cakes sing! You can read the recipe below.
Before arriving at Peter and Maria's place, Peter and I had an email conversation that went a little something like this:
Me: 'You know Peter that all the food these days gets photogrphed for the blog. Are you ok if I take photos?'
Peter: 'Yes that's fine'
Me: 'Do you want me to use real names or aliases?'
Peter: 'Simple equation. If food is good=real names. If food is bad=aliases.'
Peter and Maria are their real names.
Being foodies themselves, Peter and Maria laid on a wonderful spread so while the meat was cooked on a barbecue, the rest of the meal was way more upmarket than an everyday backyard barbecue.
We started with some prepared nibblies which were really moorish. Baked walnut filled prunes wrapped in bacon, spiced olives, and smoked salmon and dill. While I went back for more of each of these, my favourite were the bacon wrpped prunes with the walnut filling resulting in a crunchy, sweet and salty appetiser.
Next came the main meal of marinated lamb and chicken kebabs, rosemary potatoes and big colourful salad. The chicken kebabs were Peter's creation; moroccan marinade while the lamb kebabs were inspired by Maria. These were marinated in the most intriguing marinade I had ever heard of and the recipe comes from her Russian father. This marinade consisted of mayonnaise and mineral water! The result was really delicious lamb with no hint of mayonnaise which had tenderised the meat.
To finish, Peter took out of the oven his famous chocolate puddings drizzled with rasberry sauce. These are not as sickly sweet as a fondant which is a very good thing after a full meal. They are light in texture but still choclatey and rich enough to be perfect with a coffee.
By the end of the day we were thoroughly full and satisfied from this wonderful shared feast our friends had put on....ahhh bliss!
Individual orange syrup almond cakes
½ cup macadamia oil
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 ¼ cups self raising flour
1 cup almond meal
Zest from 1 orange
Zest & juice from 1 orange
½ cup raw caster sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Prepare a 12 hole muffin tin.
2. In a mixing bowl, add sugar and macadamia oil and beat with a wooden spoon until sugar starts to dissolve. Add one egg at a time and beat until creamy and the sugar is fully dissolved.
3. Mix in the flour, almond meal and orange zest.
4. Distribute the cake mixture in the muffin tin.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing if ready with a wooden skewer. When cooked take out of the oven and leave the cakes in the pan ready for the syrup topping.
6. For the syrup, add the orange juice, zest and sugar to a small saucepan over low heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve and bring the syrup to a simmer. Simmer and do not stir the mixture for about 5 minutes until the syrup has thickened slightly.
7. Using a wooden skewer, pierce through a few holes in each cake.
8. Pour over each cake in the muffin tin the hot orange syrup.
9. Leave for 10 minutes for the syrup to be absorbed before removing the cakes from the tin and letting cool on a cake rack.