Actually it's not all bad. There is still a comforting amount of chocolate in the emergency stash. It hasn't rained much yet this year. And I kind of like doing equations.
(Insert pause whilst I try to connect that sentence to the subject of this post..........
............. Nope, it's not gonna happen. So I'll just go for it and be completely random. Brace yourselves.)
Most people who's houses I visit regularly know me well enough to hand me a recipe book of some description almost as soon as I've sat down. And pretty soon after that, if they know me really well, they'll hand me a sheet of paper and a pen for me to start scribbling down recipes, notes, ingredient combinations and ideas. It was a version of this recipe that I wrote down on just such an occasion, when visiting family on New Years Day.
I'm glad I did - because I made it soon after and have decided to declare it my favourite cake of 2013. Obviously, it hasn't yet faced much competition, but I'm sure it will remain in the top spot for quite some time. The combination of the wonderfully fragrant orange flavors and the subtle heat of the spices, all brought together in the form of a slightly squidgy, slightly crumbly cake - unbeatable!
Spiced Orange Cake
Makes about 16 pieces
200g golden caster sugar
5 tbsp honey
200g ground almonds
2 tbsp buckwheat flour or wholemeal plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
seeds from 8-10 cardamon pods
Boil the 1 of the oranges in a small saucepan for 50-60 minutes. Drain off the water, and leave to cool. Cut in half, remove any pips and blend until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 23x23 cm tin with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together, then stir in the pureed orange, the zest of the remaining orange and 1 tbsp of honey. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into the bowl. Add the ground almonds and walnuts and fold into the mixture.
Pour into the tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Once the cake has been removed from the oven, mix together the remaining 4 tbsp of honey, and 3 tbsp of juice from the zested orange. Heat this mixture, either in the microwave or in a small saucepan, until it starts to boil, then remove from the heat. Make lots of small holes in the cake with a toothpick or skewer, and brush liberally with syrup. Leave to cool.