Citrus and I don’t normally get on. I love lemons, however I once had an incident involving orange slices and breakfast tea (don’t ask) that didn’t turn out too well, so anything orange has turned my stomach for a long time…However the other day I bought a huge box of cranberries because they looked so red and shiny and christmassy and because I guess in my mind I could just already taste their sweet tartness and supposed that they would make a healthy + juicy + tasty after-dinner treat while the bestie was over that night… But as you can probably tell I have never dealt with fresh cranberries before.
One over-dramatic spit-take later I set them aside and contemplated home-making a bowl of cranberry sauce for the first time. However mum announced that she had already stock-piled enough cranberry sauce to get us through the next ten festive seasons, which was actually fine with me bc I always feel like fresh, shiny fruit is somewhat wasted on jams/sauces etc when it could potentially produce something cake-y instead… So anyway a few brain waves later I suddenly became SO ready to bake something cranberry-and-orange; because CHRISTMAS VIBES!! <3 <3
This cake was actually pretty spontaneous and I’m so happy with how it turned out! It is deliciously simple. That’s why I called it ‘less is more’ – because I initially wanted to cube it up into petit-four style blocks and coat it in white chocolate, but I’m so glad I didn’t; it needs to be enjoyed in it’s own right. The cake is very light – probably because there is barely any butter/oil in it. The orange flavour is ever-so-subtle and the cake over all has the perfect light, firm and spongy crumb. I enjoyed my first square drowned in custard… you totally should too!
Recipe: (makes an 8 x 8 tray)
- 3/4 C sugar
- 1/6 C vegetable oil
- 1.5 x T butter
- 2 x T orange zest
- 1 + 3/4 C Flour
- 1 x T baking powder
- 1/4 C orange juice
- 1/4 C milk
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1 C fresh cranberries
Cream the sugar + butter + oil, add the orange zest and juice|Whip in one egg white to this wet mix| In a separate bowl mix the flour + baking powder|Combine the sugar + oil + butter mix with the flour| |Add the egg yolk|Add the cranberries|Add the milk and stir in| Bake on greaseproof paper at 175 C for 37 minutes and leave to cool for 10 mins inside the oven before removing.
And gah… IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE! I had the nicest cheddar + cranberry croissant for breakfast which was an UH-MAZING idea that I thought I’d mention here ;). A perfectly satisfying breakfast just works a treat for setting you up with that feel-good feeling for the rest of the day B-) We also made a huge pot of curried parsnip soup tonight as well as tomorrow’s cauliflower cheese, and roasted our turkey early in advance today too. Everything here basically SMELLS and seriously LOOKS like Christmas already, only the clock hasn’t caught up with these roast-y wafts yet, and none of us can wait to get our hands on all of the chocolate coated goodies (- think honey-nut clusters and choccie apples + an abundance of fudge chunks) that we’ve spent the whole day prepping!:
The weather in London is somehow still really balmy and I’ve been able to take some super therapeutic walks these past few days in the sunshine (soulfood), which have totally helped me to stay sane and chug through the yucky workloads. But right now it’s time for a break: if you don’t spend your next two nights-in just binge watching old movies/tv-series and celebrating the atmosphere with much feasting + chocolate + caramel + mince pies in total excess, then you’re doing it all wrong! It has been a whirlwind of a year and the last few weeks especially have totally flown by, and it seems that everybody is saying that each year comes and goes faster than the last, it’s just crazy. At this stage I really can’t wait for a fresh start, but until 2016 – these are the last two proper days we have left for christmass-ing. For me, this means we have hit the final season in which I can hoard bags of marshmallows and hideaway more chocolate than those marshmallows should ever even need. So ima savour it. Sit back with something hot in your favourite mug, and simply lap up the festive air of 2015 because it’s never going to visit again. This is it. Merry Christmas everyone xox