I have had an amazing time in Paris. I am back now and have less than 48 hours to unpack, repack, work, attend lecture, shop for bits and pieces before my next flight to Indonesia. I will tell you all about my trip later. I promise. I've also seen many delicious entries from the past few days... yummy cakes, grills, cocktails... I cannot wait to have a proper read this evening.
Before I leave though, there are a couple of things I want to post. The first one is my entry for this month's random recipe challenge. The theme this month is about your new cookbook. So this is how it works: get your latest cookbook you bought or received as a gift, open the page at random and cook the recipe on that page.
My newest cookbook is Nigella's How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principle of Good Food. I've been hinting this book many times for birthday, Christmas, Chinese new year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc... but my friends have some fantastic selective hearing. I couldn't wait any longer and last week I ordered the book from amazon, and now my Nigella cookbooks collection is complete.
When I opened the book at random, I had two options: stem-ginger gingerbread, which sounds absolutely delicious, but perhaps too wintry... and the other one is almond and orange blossom cake and since the days been rather sunny and warm, I had to go with this one. Nigella also says that this is the summer version of the sticky gingerbread... perfect!
This simple golden yellow cake is so wonderfully moist and fragrant... It's summer that you can eat. Enjoy in the afternoon, hopefully on a sunny day with (iced) tea.
Almond and Orange Blossom Cake
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
225 g soft unsalted buter
225 g caster sugar
50 g plain flour, preferably Italian 00
180 g ground almonds
1 scant teaspoon almond essence
zest of 1 medium orange
juice of 1/2 medium orange
2 tablespoons orange-flower water
Grease a 21 cm spring-release cake tin (you may also use a 23 cm one, but no bigger than that) and then line with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white. It's easier if you have a free-standing mixer. I don't... Handheld mixer works just fine. Beat the eggs gradually, one at a time and with each addition, sprinkle on some flour. When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond essence, grated orange zest, orange juice and orange-flower water.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour. After about 40 minutes, you may well find you have to cover it, loosely with foil; you don't want the top of the cake to burn. The cake is ready when the top is firm and a skewer, inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Take it out and let stand for 5 minutes or so in the tin. Then turn it out to a wire rack and leave till cool. Wrap it well in foil and leave for a day or two. Push some icing sugar through a fine sieve over the cake when serving.