Hello! I am currently on holidays – camping and exploring our way through the Flinders Ranges and outback NSW…with a crawling baby…in Winter. Did I mention we’re camping? Yes, we’re quite mad! Anywho, here is a post I’ve prepared for you to enjoy while I’m away, so pop the kettle on and settle in…
My husband’s lovely Mother (who is never to be referred to as my mother-in-law, she is my husband’s Mother!) unfortunately battles Multiple Sclerosis. I don’t really talk about it, mainly because we just try and not make it a big deal or dictate the way we live. Wendy has had MS for decades now, it is what it is, Matt has never known his mum not to have MS. So that’s just the way it is, onwards and upwards! Wendy has adhered to a fairly strict diet for years, ‘the MS diet’ (you can read more about it here) which basically cuts out fats and dairy, sometimes gluten, and has been hugely beneficial to halting the progression of this awful disease.
When we head down to Inverloch for a weekend I often like to make an orange and almond cake, with no eggs, no butter and gluten free flour, so Wendy can enjoy some afternoon tea with us as well. Plus, it’s delicious!
Dairy, Gluten and Egg Free Orange and Almond Cake
Zest of 2 oranges
280g gluten free flour
75g almond meal
150g caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup of olive oil
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
Blanched almonds to top
Combine zest, flour, almond meal and cinnamon together lightly (I whiz up the zest in the Thermomix and often make my own almond meal while I’m at it). Add in the sugar and oil , beat until combined. Stir through the orange juice and the vanilla essence.
Pour mixture into a greased (with olive oil) cake tin, top with blanched almonds. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 170 degrees, or until a skewer comes out clean. This can be a wet cake so a lower temperature for longer is best, and my cake often sinks in the middle! Boo. Still tastes the same though!
Juice of 3 oranges
Zest of 1 orange (so for entire cake you will need 3 oranges – handy!)Juice and zest of 1 lemon
100g raw sugar
1 cardamon pod
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
3 whole cloves
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Throw in the vanilla bean as well to add more flavour. Once sugar has dissolved bring heat down to low and let it bubble away while your cake cooks. Remove the cloves, vanilla bean and cardamon pod before pouring the syrup over your warm cake, let it all soak in.
This is always a crowd pleaser, even to the ‘cake snobs’ who insist upon eggs and butter (don’t worry, I’m total baking snob myself). Recently our sister-in-law has also been gluten/dairy free as she breastfeeds Eleanor’s cousin who has some intolerance’s, so this cake is a winner all round for family afternoon tea sessions.
We’re quite lucky that in our own household we just eat anything and everything, no allergies, no intolerance’s, touch wood Eleanor inhales pretty much any food in sight! So I rarely bake down the gluten or dairy free route, but when you need to cook for the masses this is a handy cake to have up your sleeve.