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« NaBloPoMo is over today. | Main | Marinus Dinner »

30 November 2006

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There is a divine entity of some sort, who sees fit to provide us with the eye-bleeding, tongue-snapping, nose-torquing beauty of citrus in winter.
Just when we need it.
(PS: Phew. November over. I didn't even "join," but I played.)

Wow, what gorgeous Middle Eastern Orange Cake & Tartlets. Too bad restaurants/bakeries don't make breathtaking cakes & tarts like these anymore. Did they ever? I wish someone would start. Well, Shuna, sounds like you might have a new new home for all of us starving for decent desserts to come to and try some similar stunning and tasty treat. Keep us posted.

FYI, I think that although the revised edition of Roden's Book of Middle Eastern Food may omit the orange cake recipe, her Book of Jewish Food has it, so it's still in print elsewhere, at least.

I made the orange cake yesterday, and it filled my kitchen with a magnificent orange aroma -- first from the 1 hour simmering of the whole orange, and later from baking the cake.

The cake is delicious: moist, textured (from the ground almonds), and complex (bright orange flavors, a hint of bitterness from the pith). It would be superb paired with sweetened whipped cream, or perhaps something creamy, sweet and chocolately.

To prepare the ground almonds in the recipe, I used my food processor to grind up raw, unskinned almonds. To help prevent nut butter from forming, I added the sugar to the almonds late in the process.

I've often made Nigella Lawson's recipe for Clementine Cake, which is adapted from Claudia Roden's Orange and Almond Cake recipe. It's quite a revelation -- fragrant with all the parts of the citrus, like good marmalade; nubbly with almonds, and so moist that people think it's a syrup-moistened cake. Worth far more effort and time than the minimal amount it actually takes.

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