Category Archives: Citrus

Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake (0165)

What? You say. Are you actually posting a cake recipe in the middle of August? The answer is quite obviously a resounding “Yes!” Don’t worry, there’s a perfectly plausible explanation for this. It’s #TeaandCakeTuesday – weekly blogging event where anyone can post their favourite cake or dessert recipes and/or photos. One of the things that stuck with me during Blogging 101 (now completed by the way, with a few design tasks still to tackle) is how important it is to talk to other bloggers and readers alike. Years of experience have already helped me understand this, but once in a while it’s good to remember that even if you feel you’re in a bubble, working and writing alone, there are many other people with whom you can connect. So here’s one of my favourite cakes which deserves to be written about and celebrated here, and in turn celebrates all those hard-working folks brave enough to blog and/or vlog. It’s not as easy as it seems people.

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Lemon Sherbet Cake

Lemon Sherbert Cake (0121)

Writing about some of my favourite cake recipes at the end of every April has become a sort of tradition here on C&T. It’s my birthday later on in the week so it’s kind of themed, at least for me! It started a few month after the birth of this blog, when people started asking me about the cake or cakes (because yes, there were times when I made more than one) I usually make for the day. I try to vary as much as possible, but I can happily say that more often than not there’s always a copious amount of chocolate involved.

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Fusilli with Mandarins and Basil

Mandarin and Yoghurt Fusilli (9088)

Before coming across this recipe in Jack Monroe‘s book, I would never have thought of pairing pasta with mandarins. (There’s no need to tell you again how much I like Jack’s book. You can read all about it in a previous post.) I was almost about to say that I never had anything sweet with pasta. Then I remembered I actually did! I’m getting older…

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Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary (6904)

Fact is I’m not much of a drinker. I do enjoy a glass of red with dinner sometimes and I am also partial to some port or brandy in the colder months. Yes I’m getting old. This is a first for me, in that today I’m giving you a cocktail recipe. From what I have read, there are, apparently two schools of thought on Bloody Mary: the love it or hate it. I would like to propose another: the occasional one a.k.a. it’s-good-for-brunch. I won’t go into whether it can cure a hangover or not. I haven’t tried that, and I wouldn’t want you to, but hey I’m not your mum…but don’t get sloshed! No, I’m not lecturing you.

It’s very very really salty, but it’s fantastic for a brunch party any time of the year. I was once told a story (true or not I have no idea) about a host inviting a so-called-friend for brunch simply because this person mixed the most delicious Bloody Mary ever! One thing I can tell you for sure is that I wouldn’t have liked to be this friend, but I would have liked one of these. Happy Holidays!

  • 45 ml vodka
  • 150ml tomato juice
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • pinch celery salt
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • freshly ground pepper
  • celery stick
  • lemon wedge as garnish

Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in the tomato juice and lemon juice. Add the vodka, celery salt, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces. Give everything a stir, then add the pepper. Garnish with a lemon wedge, a celery stick and a stirrer if needed. And you’re done.

I hope to give you one more recipe in the next post before taking a break. So hold on for one more! Enjoy the holidays and Happy Christmas!

Rob x

Lime and Coconut Cake (gluten-free)

Lime and Coconut Cake (8386)

Excluding Nigella’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake from Nigellissima (recipe coming soon) I never tried making a gluten-free cake before this one. When I wrote something about this on my Facebook wall, I received quite a number of private messages (and public comments) asking me for gluten-free recipes. To be honest, I never imagined how much interest this was going to generate. I find that more often than not, many recipes claiming to be gluten-free, sugar-free or anything-free, are in fact gimmicky, as in shady, in their use of ingredients. During the past week I have spent hours searching for good ones and I only bookmarked a few.

Lime and Coconut Cake (8380)

I wasn’t going to post this one so soon, but I would never leave my readers and friends without this beautiful cake. A few hours after I baked it I gave a couple of slices to my neighbour, without having a taste myself. I cannot explain why but whilst mixing and making a mess in the kitchen I knew instinctively that this lime and coconut cake was going to work. I don’t know about you, but there are only a handful of established cooks I trust. The River Cottage gang is seriously making the list these days, and this particular recipe has become one of my go-tos. It’s effectively a lime version of the classic lemon drizzle cake, with rice flour. For the drizzle please make sure to use icing sugar instead of regular sugar though. You will get a smoother syrup this way.

  • 125g rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • Zest of 3 small limes
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lime oil (optional)
  • 50g dessicated coconut

For the drizzle:

  • 75g icing sugar
  • Juice of 3 limes

Grease and line a loaf tin (approx. volume 1 litre), making sure to leave extra parchment paper at the sides. It will be easier to lift the cake from the tin later. Preheat the oven to 175C/Gas mark 4.

Sift the rice flour, baking powder and xanthan gum (if you choose to use this) in a medium-sized bowl, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and lime zest, add the sugar and continue beating until you have a light and creamy mixture.

Add the eggs, one by one, adding 1 heaped tablespoon of the sifted rice flour mixture after each egg, and whisk this completely into the butter mixture before adding the second and third egg. Add the lime oil, if using.

Gently fold the remaining flour, preferably using a metal spoon. Fold in the coconut.

Tip the cake batter into the prepared tin, smooth the top, and bake for around 40 minutes, until it turns a nice golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. With the same skewer punch small holes into the surface of the cake, without reaching the bottom. Keep the cake in the tin.

Lime and Coconut Cake (8382)

Make the drizzle by heating the icing sugar and lime juice in a small saucepan. When fully dissolved, slowly pour half the liquid onto the cake, somewhat evenly. Cool the cake for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in the tin, and pour the remainder of the syrup. Leave the cake to cool completely, before taking it out onto a serving plate. Smoothness and syrupiness galore!

It will keep for around 5 days in an airtight container. but it will retain the moistness for a couple more days in the fridge. So don’t throw it away!

Enjoy!

Rob x

(Recipe adapted from River Cottage Handbook No. 8: Cakes, by Pam Corbin, Bloomsbury, 2011.)