Boiled Orange, Carrot & Almond Cake

boiled orange cake

This is a lovely dense, moist cake, with an amazingly vibrant orange flavour.  It does require a little pre-work but I promise you it is worth it.  Grandma Bear has lots of oranges on her trees at the moment and this is made with the small blood oranges which I don’t like eating fresh.

I tend to start this this day before making the orange puree and then leaving it in the fridge overnight, but whatever works for you.

If you can bear to leave it this is actually better the day after baking, but it’s still really good just cooled as well.

INGREDIENTS

350 – 375g orange puree

250g ground almond meal

150 – 175g grated carrots

Large handful of well washed and dried sultanas

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

50g coconut sugar

2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS

To make the orange puree, take approx. 4 small oranges (organic if you can get them because you’re going to be eating the skin) give them a cursory scrub and cover in a pot with cold water.  Bring them to the boil and then turn the heat down to keep them simmering for 2 hours.  Let them cool completely and then rip into chunks, removing any seeds you find on the way, and puree in your food processor or with a stick blender.

To make the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180 C on normal bake.

Combine the orange puree, eggs and sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.  Gently stir together all remaining ingredients into a big mixing bowl then add the orange, egg, sugar mix in to and stir until just completely combined.

Tip into a cake tin lined with baking paper, I use a 25cm round spring form tin, and bake for 1 hour.  Depending on your oven you may want to start checking the top after 45 mins or so to see if you need to cover with foil to stop the top burning.  Trust me the cake is so moist it will need the full hour of baking.  To test for done-ness stick a wooden skewer in the middle, it should come out reasonably cleanly with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.  It if looks like it’s got cake batter on it, keep baking for a bit longer.  When cooked remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

Paleo Banana Muffins

banana muffin

I feel like a passed a few rites of passage as a Mama bear this weekend; we did water play on the deck in our bikinis (well baby bear started in her bikini… I now have a very cute nakie dancing photo that I’m saving for baby bear’s 21st), I got the answer to whether a bear poos in the woods (nope, they do it in their bath…) and we did our first baking together.  And from these great milestones I learnt some pretty good lessons; I should invest in more water proof sunscreen, I should try and buy shares in ecostore cleaning products, but also that there is no point in using them to clean the kitchen floor just before doing baking…

Regardless of all of this the banana muffins we made together were a great hit with baby bear and Hubby bear 🙂

INGREDIENTS

2 large bananas, the riper the better

3 eggs

110g almond flour

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 Cup sultanas

1/4 Cup chopped walnuts

Coconut oil for greasing the loaf tin

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 180C and then either use some coconut oil to grease a 6 cup muffin tray or line with patty cases.

Place your peeled bananas into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade and pulse to mush up.

Add in the rest of your ingredients – now here are some optional extra steps, I don’t usually do these myself, but we went through them all yesterday and the muffins were great, so perhaps there’s something in them;

Take an extra Tablespoon of almond flour and tip it partly on the bench, but mostly on the floor.

Pick four of the sultanas out of the food processor, eat three of them and spit the fourth one on the floor, cry until you find it again, put it back in your mouth and then spit it out on the floor again because it’s covered in almond flour and you don’t like the texture, lick your apron.

Lick the honey on the spoon, let someone else put most of the honey from the spoon into the food processor, put the spoon under your apron to pretend that it’s disappeared, then pull it out and try and put the entire Tablespoon into your mouth to lick off any remaining honey traces you can find.

Once you’ve worked through that, pulse the food processor to mix everything until it’s just combined together.

Pour mixture into your muffin tray and bake for ~30 minutes or until browned and when you insert a skewer in the middle it comes out clean.

There are also some option extras for consumption as well; again these are totally up to you.

Take a few bites of your muffin, then break a little bit off and try pushing it up your nose.

Put the muffin down on your plate and lean forward to take the next few bites without picking it up in your hands.

Crumble some of your muffin off and drop it down in your lap, then get upset when you can’t find all the bits.

Push the entire remaining muffin into your mouth till you look like a chipmunk and spend the next minute or so trying to chew it enough to swallow without anything falling out of your mouth.

Enjoy!

Paleo Bread

Photo

Isn’t life a wonderful dichotomy? Those who know me will tell you that I have a wardrobe full of high heeled shoes, gorgeous, elegant, sexy and delicious, but these same people will also tell you that I am almost always wearing flats.  The siren song of the heels calls to me.  They sing their sweet song from the shoe shops and under a spell I try them and buy them, taking them home to join their fellows in my wardrobe.  I do fully intend to wear them all, however when it comes to crunch I am rather more practical.  I tend to walk in what I like to call a positive, dynamic way (hubby bear calls it wifey’s crazy striding) and try as I might I can’t walk like that in high heels and if I can’t walk like that I get frustrated.  So the rest of my wardrobe is stuffed with flats, sad but true.

What, you may well ask, has any of this to do with paleo cooking, or family life?  Patience, patience, where I’m going with this is here – Paleo bread.  To me, other than my pathological love and avoidance of high heels, paleo bread is the other great contradiction in life.  That something so fundamentally carb rich could be converted to a Paleo friendly form seems mystical.  But here’s the thing, when I was pregnant I craved sandwiches.  Pregnancy was in the days pre-Paleo so the bread was your standard gluten free fare.  Don’t get excited, this isn’t a rambling way of announcing that I’m pregnant again, but I have promised hubby bear it’s not completely off the cards, so at some stage in the future (when I’ve forgotten what chronic sleep deprivation does to you) it could happen again and when that time comes I fully intend to be prepared (somehow, I just know I’ll look back on this and laugh at the naivety…).

Well at least in the interim I can enjoy some almond butter and lettuce sandwiches.  Give them a try, they’re really good.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups ground almonds

2 Tablespoons coconut flour

¼ cup ground flaxseeds (flaxmeal or linseedmeal)

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

5 eggs

1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.

Place the ground almonds, coconut flour, flax, salt and baking soda in the bowl of your food processor  fitted with an ‘S’ blade.  Pulse ingredients to roughly mix together, then pulse in the eggs, oil, honey and vinegar.

Transfer batter to a greased and lined loaf pan .

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool in the pan, then use straight away or cover and store in the fridge for up to three days.

Paleo Almond & Berry Slice

coconut almond berry slice

I was a big fan of traditional Louise slice and this creation is a nod to that.

INGREDIENTS

Base & Topping

1 ½ Cups coconut flour

1 ¾ Cups almond flour

1 Cup of coconut sugar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

1 Cup of cold coconut oil, chopped into small pieces

Filling

4 eggs

½ Cup coconut flour

1 Cup maple syrup

1 Cup of coconut milk

1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Cup no sugar berry fruit spread

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 175 C and line a slice tin with baking paper.

Put the base/topping ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade.  Pulse until the mixture starts to clump together.  Depending on the weather and moisture content in your almond flour etc. you may need to add a little bit of water, but it you do, please go carefully.  Use icy cold water and add it a drop at a time.  Once your mixture is clumping together tip it out on to a clean bench and knead lightly.  Separate 1 Cup of the mixture and put aside for the topping.  Press the rest of the mixture into your lined slice tray and place in the oven to bake for ~10 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 mins while you make the filling.

Place all your filling ingredients, except the berry fruit spread into your food processor (I didn’t even bother to wipe mine out from making the base/topping) and whizz to combine.  Spread the berry fruit spread over the slightly cooled base and then pour the rest of the filling over the top.  Crumble the 1 cup of reserved topping over the top and place in the oven to bake for another 50 mins or until the topping is golden brown.  Let cool completely and then refrigerate.  I personally think this is best the next day, but suit yourself 🙂