There’s nothing like a zesty citrus cake with a cup of coffee for tea (or breakfast) to make you feel aliiiive! Hehe saw a tweet from Simon Holland that said “Once you realize that you don’t need a special occasion to buy a cake, the second part of your life begins.” Yes, I completely 100% agree. I’ve been trying to tell people this for ages now – that you can have cake without a “celebration”. I’ve always embraced the “Unbirthday” lifestyle of the world through the looking glass, and I think more people should.
I return to work in 2 days time, having been on maternity leave for the past 3 months, and it’s going to be very very hard. I do miss my work mates and having adult conversation during the day, but nothing compares to the snuggles and eye contact time of direct nursing. The great thing is that my parents and my in laws are all nearby, so even though Joe won’t have me during the days, he’ll at least still have varied human interaction with close family.
The first 6 weeks or so post-partum were very hard, I was living in a daze of 2 hour feedings and a hurricane of hormones. The hardest bit was trying to be interested in anything other than the sleeping and nursing habits of my baby, and there were whole days where I didn’t emerge from my room at all. I wasn’t even interested in watching anything on YouTube or looking at my Pinterest feed. The only things I did besides reading baby care books or sites was watching my friends’ IG stories while I nursed.
Then one day I woke up and my brain had just been switched on. I don’t know why, but I felt like cooking and putting on my makeup, and wearing actual clothes as opposed to just my dressing gown or pajamas.
Since then, the rest of my maternity leave has been spent trying new recipes and even filling a few cake orders. All with Joe’s assistance in the kitchen, of course!
One of the cakes I craved was a zesty almond cake, and so I pulled out this recipe that uses whole oranges that are boiled and pureed. It makes for a really interesting texture, but requires refrigeration overnight before enjoying to let the almond meal absorb the pureed oranges fully.
Orange Almond Cake
- 2 large oranges
- 5 large eggs
- 250g brown sugar
- 250g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp orange liqueur (optional)
- Icing sugar to decorate
- Pop the oranges in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and keep it going for 1.5 hours. Remove from the water, cool completely, then puree in a food processor whole (you can remove the pips if you want, but it doesn’t affect the flavour if you don’t)
- Preheat the oven to 200C, grease and line an 8 inch round tin
- Beat the eggs and sugar until light and airy, for about 5 minutes
- Combine the baking powder and ground almonds then gently add it to the batter and fold in, taking care to avoid deflating the egg mix
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted at an angle comes out clean
- Let the cake cook in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. You can choose to eat it now, or chill in the fridge overnight to allow the flavours time to get to know each other before serving.