Sunday, March 25, 2007

Whole Orange and Almond Cake

I think it's a good idea to have at least one wheat/gluten free dessert in your repertoire. There are, after all, a lot of people out there who cannot have wheat but who still have sweet tooths worthy of satisfaction. This is a really cool recipe I made a couple of weeks ago, also from The Essentail Baking Cookbook, hence the weights as opposed to volume as it's an Australian publication (so you'll need a scale). It's a very different recipe, but it makes a wonderful, almost pudding-like cake that you can dress up in any number of ways.

Whole Orange and Almond Cake

2 large oranges
5 eggs
220g/7oz white sugar
250g/8oz ground almonds (almond meal)
1 tsp baking powder
icing sugar, to dust

1. Lightly grease a 9" springform pan with butter and line the bottom with either wax paper or parchment.

2. Scrub the oranges under warm water to remove any waxy coating or stamps. Place in a saucepan and cover them with water. Boil for an hour. Remove and set aside to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a plate to catch any juice, quarter the oranges and discard only the seeds. In a food processor or blender, puree the oranges to a pulp

4. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the orange pulp and juices, ground almonds, sugar, and baking powder and mix thoroughly. Pour into the springform pan and bake for about an hour, or until the cake is firm to the touch and lightly golden. Bake it longer if it's wet. Cool in the pan for a few minutes before tipping out onto a cooling rack.

Dust with icing sugar. Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cardamom.

Cottage Loaf

Cottage Loaf
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.
This also came from The Essential Baking Cookbook. It's kind of a cool shape, but you can pretty much bake it in any shape you want to, though, again, this recipe is a little large for a regular loaf pan. This would also make really good buns.

Cottage Loaf

7g/1/4oz/1 heaping tbsp yeast
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 cups white bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups warm water

See bread baking tutorial for instructions, but again, let this rise twice: once in the bowl and once after shaping.

To shape this loaf, pull away 1/3 of the dough from the rest and shape each portion into balls. Place the larger on a lined baking sheet and brush the top with water. Place the smaller on top of it, pushing down with two fingers. Rise again.

Bake at 375F until done - 30-40 minutes.

Ciabatta with Cheddar

Ciabatta with Cheddar
Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

This is a really tasty bread that came from a new cookbook I got around Christmas time called The Essential Baking Cookbook. It's an Australian publication so the recipes in it oftentimes contain weights as opposed to volume, necessitating a scale. This recipe makes a fairly large loaf that would be too big for your regular bread pans, so a freeform loaf works best here. I added to the top about a cup and a half of grated old cheddar cheese.

Ciabatta with Cheddar

7g/1/4oz/1 heaping tbsp yeast.
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 cups/750g/1.5lbs bread flour

1 - 1 1/2 cups warm water
50mL olive oil
extra flour, to sprinkle
1.5 cups aged white cheddar, grated

See the bread baking tutorial for instructions on how to make the dough, however, let the dough rise twice: once in the bowl and once after shaping.

After the first rise, gently tip the dough from the bowl onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently spread it into an oval shape about 12"x4.5". Let it rise another half hour. Sprinkle it with the cheese and bake at 400F until done and cheese is golden brown (about half an hour, give or take).



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