Posts Tagged 'orange'

Drunken Orange & Ginger Jam

I initially got into cooking when I moved to the UK. Because of this, I can cook a vast repertoire of heart-warming stodgy winter food, but am pretty useless at light, summer food. So, despite me being a massive “cold frog” and hating the chill, I find myself greatly anticipating winter!

All the good things seem to happen in winter. The rugby, rugby league and AFL starts; my birthday gets closer; and I get to make thick stews and puddings to keep us warm through the chilly months. I also get to count down the days until Papa C’s lemon tree goes crazy and produces more lemons than we can pick!

I have noticed lately that the citrus fruit is becoming plentiful, but I’m not the biggest fan of marmalade as it is too bitter for my liking. So I’ve made a slightly sweeter orange jam, and jazzed it up with a bit of sherry for the cold. You can leave the sherry out, it tastes good without it. This one would also be good on fresh scones!
Drunken orange jam – adapted from the BBC Good Food website
1 kg oranges, well scrubbed and halved
1 unwaxed lemon
1.5 kg granulated sugar
30g stem ginger
2 l water
1/3 cup sherry

the oranges having a bath...

Grate the rind and squeeze the juice of the oranges and lemon, and place in a large saucepan with 2 l water and ginger.

Bring the liquid to the boil, then simmer for about 1 hr, or until the peel is soft and translucent and the liquid has reduced by one third. Turn off the heat and lift the ginger out.
While you wait, get your jars ready. Wash 8 x 450g/1lb jars (or the equivalent volume larger or smaller jars) in hot, soapy water, then leave in a low oven to dry completely. Keep them warm. Alternatively, if you’ve got a dishwasher you can run the jars and lids though a hot cycle, then let them dry. Put a saucer in the freezer at this point, too.
Add sugar and pectin to the pot, along with the sherry. Stir every so often over a very gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t boil before all the sugar has melted.

Slowly bring the pan to the boil. After 10 minutes boiling, spoon a small blob of marmalade onto the cold saucer. Leave for a minute, and then push the marmalade with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, boil for 10 minutes more then try again. If yours seems to be taking a while don’t worry, it can take anything from 10 minutes to 45 minutes for marmalade to reach setting point, depending on your oranges. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface in the meantime.

Once you’ve reached setting point, ladle the marmalade into the warm jars and seal. The marmalade will keep for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place, and for up to a month in the fridge once opened.

Orange & coconut shortbread cookies

My brain was gifted to me in marble-form. For most of my childhood I carried the full collection of marbles, taking different ones out to suit the situation. (And, at times, they would get stuck in the bag and refuse to come out. Usually when my brother was trying to convince me I was an alien.)

However, I strongly suspect that when I reached adulthood my marble-container became perforated, and one or two began to fall out. There has been a substantial amount of rattling in there, but when I come to use particular ones they are nowhere to be found.
I find myself forgetting the simple things, like how I got home from work (sober, I promise). Or, if I did indeed send that letter to the client like I said I would. Or the time I broke a flat-mate’s expensive glass and convinced him that he did it when he was drunk. Or what I gave Frank last year for his birthday.

At first it was frustrating to realise that I’ve lost a couple of marbles, but I am comforted to know it’s a family thing. (;), only kidding family!) One day I am fully expecting to lift up the couch cushions and find those little marbles waiting for me, or perhaps Frank will slip on a couple while getting out of bed…

One day when I was having a quick search for my marbles, I remembered Frank had requested I make him some biscuits. So I had a quick look in my recipe books, and found this easy and delicious recipe. The dough feels beautifully silky when you roll them, and they look like slightly flat marbles when they come out! Be careful though, they are incredibly morish…

Coconut & orange shortbread biscuits – recipe adapted from AWW’s “Mix” book

250g butter, softened
Scant cup icing sugar
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp corn flour
½ cup almond meal
½ cup desiccated coconut
2 tbsp orange juice
½ tsp orange blossom water (optional)

Preheat oven to 150C/130C fan-forced and line two baking trays with baking paper
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until dough is formed.

Shape level tablespoons of mixture into balls and place 3cm apart on the baking tray. Flatten with a fork.

Bake for 25 mins or until firm. Leave to stand on the tray for 5 mins, and then place on a wire rack to cool.
Cover with additional sifted icing sugar if you choose.

Seasonal cupcakes

On a good day I quite fancy myself as an accurate predictor of baby gender. When my sister-in-law was pregnant, Beets had a dream that she was having a girl, and therefore I told my sister-in-law throughout her pregnancy that she was having a girl. And what do you know, I was right! So, guessing correcting, I did the required “I told you so” dance. Of course I am in Sydney and they are in London, so it didn’t have the same effect.

Next up was LL. I was convinced that she was having a girl, despite what everyone else said. I was right before, so of course I was going to be right again! She had a boy, and I was wrong. I was running on a 50/50 tally, which didn’t stop me from believing I could predict genders. My latest prediction was for Frank’s sister: I said “girl” again, and when she went into labour this morning I decided I was going to make her cupcakes to have in the hospital. But what colour to ice the cakes? I wisely asked Frank if he wanted to change his prediction to a girl, and if he thought I should ice the cupcakes pink. His response was: “ice them pink, and if you’re right you get to gloat tomorrow when we go in, and if you’re wrong we get to laugh at you.” Just before I was due to make the icing this evening we received a call from Mama C telling us that TW has just had a baby boy. And as sad as I am that I was wrong AGAIN, I am very overjoyed that little JTW is here safely, and that I hadn’t iced the cupcakes pink!

As citrus fruit is in season at the moment, and I have an abundance of the little darlings in my dining room, I thought I would make some orange and lemon cupcakes.  I picked up some orange blossom water while on a shopping spree with Mama C, and was keen to try it. Proud Daddy MW loves any cupcakes I make, so I thought I’d give it a go and no matter what I would have an appreciative audience!

As a base, I used my ever-faithful vanilla cupcake recipe. I left out the vanilla, and added in the zest of two of Papa C’s navel oranges and a tablespoon of the juice.  Once baked and cooled, I used an apple-corer to take out a little bit of the centre of each cake. A knife is normally recommended to hollow out cakes for filling, but I didn’t want to add too much filling so I only made small hollows. Once hollowed, I filled each cupcake with a spoonful of freshly made lemon curd and popped the top back on. I then make some buttercream icing with orange juice and 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water, and tinted it blue. Lastly I used a big star tip to ice buttercream swirls on top of the cakes.

I made 13 cupcakes, as I needed my honest-oppinion-giver to give it a taste test before I inflicted it on the family. I believe his response was: “mumble mumble mumble” *swallow mouthful of cake* “you done good.”

Seasonal cupcakes – adapted from basic cupcakes in “Little cakes with attitude” by Kate Shirazi

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2 large free-range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
rind of two oranges
1 tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake cases. Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl. Plonk the rest of the cake ingredients and whisk away until pale and fluffy (I would use an electric whisk).

Plop a tablespoon of the batter into the cases and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until firm and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Hollow out with a knife, fill with lemon curd and put the tops back on.

Orange blossom buttercream icing

1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
1.5 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp orange juice

Beat everything in a large bowl for a few minutes until light and fluffy. Add food colouring to your heart’s content. (I used royal blue colouring)


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All recipes are on Petitchef