Friday, 7 February 2014

Greek Orange and Rosemary Cake with Blackcurrant Glaze.

Greek Orange and Rosemary cake Title

I've been seeing so many different tasty looking recipes with Rosemary recently, such as this one, however they all seem to contain chocolate. I don't really like the idea of sickly chocolate desserts at the moment, but I really wanted to incorporate Rosemary into a recipe.

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I read somewhere the other day that the scent of Orange as they are peeled is really good for mental attitude. I'm not too sure on the science behind it, but apparently somehow the scent triggers something in the brain which then releases endorphines and promotes happiness. (I'm almost sure my lay-man's description there is way off, but I like to think I'm right!) I've been particularly emotional recently and I'm not sure why. Something to do with the Doctors getting no-where, the endless trips to hospital for no apparent reason and the constant pain may have something to do with it! So when I read the powers of Oranges late one night I decided Orange Cake was definitely on the horizon!


I was brought up never to waste food, so the idea of using an entire Orange (pith and all) excited me a lot. I was watching King of Tarts (I think. It's an Australian Cheffy program anyway)and I first saw the whole Orange being used. A quick trundle of the internet and a few pins later I had a guideline. Then I Vegan-ified and tried to cut down the bad ingredients. The result was this surprisingly delicious cake!


Even if my brain science was off, the colours of the Oranges certainly cheered me up no-end on this particularly grey day. So as far as I'm concerned. Mission. Accomplished.

Plus, aren't they so pretty to look at. It almost makes me thirsty!!



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After combining all of the ingredients, you will almost immediately see the Baking Powder begin to react with the wet ingredients. At this point you have to move quite swiftly. This is how I managed to pour the mixture into the middle (I know, I know) of the cake pan, you know, the bit with the hole. I do astound myself sometimes. 

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Mess aside, the cake turned out well, something I am always terrified won't happen when I use a Bundt tin, I think the fact that this one is silicone helps a little.



The freezer is completely stuffed with Berries of all types, including these Blackcurrants, so I just pulled out a box and de-frosted a few. I suggest in the summer, picking as many berries as you can as they will save for a really long time and are so much cheaper than buying them out of season!

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2 Oranges
Sprig of Rosemary
1/4 Cup Oil (see notes)
1 Cup Rice Milk (see notes)
1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar (see notes)
1 Cup Self Raising Flour (see notes)
1/4 Cup Oat Flour
3/4 Cup Ground Almonds
2 Tbsp Cornflour
2 Tbsp Warm Water
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup of Granulated Sweetener (see notes)

1 Cup Blackcurrants (plus a few extra for decoration)
1 Tbsp Coconut Milk

1. Place the Oranges in a sauce pan, cover with Cold Water and bring to the boil. When they reach the boil, drain. Repeat this process twice more. After the third boiling, cover the Oranges in Cold Water to cool them slightly.

2. Chop the Oranges roughly, removing the large strand of pith from down the centres. Place the Oranges and the Rosemary into a food Processor and process into a paste-like-consistency.

3. In a Seperate Bowl combine the Rice Milk, Oil, Water and Vinegar. Leave to one side.

4. Sieve the Self Raising Flour into a mixing bowl, add the Oat Flour, Ground Almonds, Cornflour, Baking Powder, Sugar and Sweetner. Mix roughly.

5. To the Flour mixture add the Orange Puree, mix roughly. Then Pour in the Milk Mix. Combine all of the Ingredients together.

6. Pour the Batter (it will be more of a runnier batter than a traditional Sponge mix) into a greased Bundt tin.

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° ° for 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

8. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

9. Turn out onto a Serving Platter and leave to cool even further.

10. Whilst you wait, make the glaze. Cook the Blackcurrants in a saucepan until they begin to burst open, remove from the heat and add to the Food Processor. Process until a smooth paste is achieved. Stir in the Coconut Milk and Mix until Combined. Taste. (you may have to add a little Stevia here (1tsp) as Blackcurrants are sometimes a little bitter)

11. Spread over your now-cooled cake. Finish with some whole Blackcurrants as decoration.

I have found that the younger and fresher the Oranges are, the less bitter. If you have some older, tougher fruits that need using up, I suggest boiling them a fourth time before pureeing, that way it removes some of the bitterness.

This cake is not supposed to be light and fluffy, but instead dense and sticky, don't worry if it takes longer than you expect to cook, and if it seems a little squidgy when baked, as it cools it will firm up.


Oil - Any type of Vegan-friendly Oil can be used. I like to use sunflower oil because it is light and relatively flavourless. I am not particularly a fan of Olive Oil, or Sesame Seed Oil, but I know some people have some great luck with Olive Oil in Orange Cakes.

Rice Milk - Any non-dairy milk will work, try Almond Milk, it will really compliment the Ground Almonds in the cake.

White Wine Vinegar - I like to use 'white' Vinegars such as White Wine and Cider. Champagne Vinegar could also be used, but I wouldn't recommend Malt or Red Wine, they may be too strong.

Flours - I used a combination of Self Raising ( to make the cake raise a little better) and Oat flour (I like how dense it is) but I'm sure you could play around with the flour varieties to make this recipe Gluten Free.

Sugars - I am currently trying to avoid processed White Sugars, (and Brown sugar. . . ) so I was a little hesitant to put sugar in here, I did alternate and use some Stevia as well, although I would prefer to cut down the sugar amounts, and perhaps look at replacing some of the Sugar with either more Stevia (The reason I didn't is that, a. I sometimes find Stevia bitter and b.I finished the tub!) or Agave, although if Agave were to be used, the Liquid content would have to be rectified. As is, I don't mind a little sugar once in a while, to be completely honest I gave most of this cake away so I didn't have to suffer eating it myself!!!

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