August favourites and orange cake

matcha fondue-3

It’s the most gorgeous Sunday afternoon here in Orange. The sun is feeling warmer than it has in months and the kids are outside making and playing ‘bases’ with their friends. I’ve got an orange cake (recicpe below) in the oven and half an hour to put this post together before joining them for a walk down by the creek. Nice.

It’s been a while between favourite’s posts, and I’m sorry about the radio silence, but hope that the goodies in this list will make up for lost time! So here’s to some good reads, a lovely early Sunday night, a bit of baking for the week ahead and maybe even the chance to be super organised and have the school bags and uniforms all ready tonight so we actually make the bus tomorrow morning. Sophie x

Will Frolic for Food is a new discovery to me and I love it – especially this post about buckwheat, sunflower granola crackers

If Tim and I ever renew our vows then we’ll do it here – like this.

Because it’s almost spring and I am looking for lighter, prettier things to cook.

How good does this spiced carrot baked oatmeal with maple roasted pecans look! I love love love every recipe on Gather and Feast.

Who’s coming to Orange Wine Week (October 14-30)? The program is jam-packed with fantastic events. Book now people!

Princess cakes. Wowsers.

Homemade Peking duck. Yummmmm.

I posted this recipe for jam Danishes over on the Mill House blog and highly recommend it. Don’t panic about all that butter, think of them as a special treat and enjoy every mouthful.

The invovenience of salad – if  if healthy food was as easy as junk food would people eat more of it?

I love the Guardian’s Food in Books series – especially this Piccalilli post inspired by Life after Life which I’m halfway through at the moment.

Breakfast between fields– could this post BE more beautiful?

If you aren’t quite sure what Instagram Stories is all about but would quite like to find out – and learn how to use it – then check out Xanthe Berkley’s great little video tutorial.

Peanut butter stuffed chocolate biscuits. Yes please.

Absolutely love this post on life and Thyme by Hetty McKinnon –  this sauce and that noodle salad is on the list to cook this week. Also – can’t wait for Hetty’s new book which is released here in Australia (her new book is out any minute, whoop).

matcha fonduematcha fondue-2

Fondue parties were big when I was little. Mum would pull out this yellow kit (above) for birthday dinners and fill it with hot oil or cheese into which we’d dunk chunks of lamb, hunks of bread and chopped vegetables  If you lost your lamb/bread etc in the pot, you had to stand up and sing a song. The whole process was delicious, loads of fun and I’m not sure why we stopped doing it?

So inspired by this post by Molly Yeh, I borrowed Mum’s fondue kit for our last workshop with Miss Molly and we ended lunch one day with a bit pot of melted white chocolate tinted green with matcha powder and an arrangement of preztels, blood oranges and orange cake for dunking. It was fun, delicious and validated my ‘I’m for fondues’ stance (t-shirts forthcoming). You could dunk pretty much any fruit, biscuit or cake combo into this gorgeous green mixture but my favourite is thick chunks of the below orange cake.

Plain orange cake

This is a gorgeous cake – so easy to make and perfect iced, un-iced, studded with fresh or poached fruit, flavoured with cocoa or coffee and spices or just as we have it here – fragranced with orange zest.

As with all simple recipes, it helps to have great ingredients on hand namely fresh room temperature eggs and lovely soft butter.

Zest of two oranges
1 cup caster sugar
250g butter, softened
4 eggs at room temperature
1 2/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 24cm springform cake tin. Place the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and add the zest – work together with your fingertips so the zest tinges the sugar a pale orange and infuses it with its essential oils. Add the butter and cream together in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (this should take about 5 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder together then fold this through the butter mixture. Spoon into prepared cake tin, smoothing the top. Bake for 35 minutes or until the sides of the cake are just pulling away from the tin and a skewer comes out clean. Let cool in the tin for five minutes then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.

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