Sunday, September 13, 2009

Afternoon Tea

An Afternoon Tea party is the perfect excuse for me to try new recipes.  Today I invited a couple of family members to join us for Afternoon Tea. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have an abundance of oranges at the moment from my Mother's tree.  They tend to go bad faster than I can eat them so I decided to find a recipe where I could use the oranges.  I found one for Orange Almond cake and adapted it to suit my taste buds.  This cake is fantastic - great for those who are gluten intolerant, moist, filling and simple to make. It's only downfall is the preparation time; the oranges must be simmered for almost 90 minutes.
I also pulled out of my freezer some zucchini I had grated up earlier in the week before they also went bad. I had already decided to use it for a recipe I had found for Zucchini Loaf.  Since I have a sweet tooth, I thought lemon frosting would finish it off perfectly.
No afternoon tea is complete without some kind of sandwich so I threw together a simple open faced sandwich on ciabatta bread.  Herbed cream cheese and salmon team together well to make a delicious snack.

Zucchini Loaf with Lemon Frosting Spread

2 cups of grated zucchini
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup of oil (I used Macadamia Nut Oil)
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of baking powder
2 Tbsp of cinnamon
1 Tbsp of Vanilla bean paste (or pure extract)

Lemon Frosting Spread
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
4 Tbsp warm milk
1 Tbsp soft butter
2 tsp lemon extract or lemon juice

Sift sugar into a bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Beat until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a loaf tin.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.  In a large bowl beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla bean paste until smooth.  Stir in the zucchini until well mixed.  Stir in dry mixture with metal spoon until well mixed and then pour into the greased loaf tin.  Place in oven and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let loaf cool before frosting.

Orange Cake
2 large oranges
300g caster sugar
200g ground almonds
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
juice of 1/2 lemon

Wash oranges well and place whole into a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring water to boil then lower heat to a simmer.  Simmer whole oranges for 1-1 1/2 hours.  Let oranges cool and then drain water and place oranges into a food processor.  Blend till smooth.  Add in eggs, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice and blend.  In another bowl mix caster sugar, ground almonds and baking power.  Add orange mixture to dry mixture and fold with a metal spoon until well mixed.  Pour cake mixture into greased cake tin.  Place in oven and bake @ 350 Fahrenheit for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Open Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches
1 fresh load of bread
1/2 pot of cream cheese
generous squeeze of lemon juice
sea salt
cracked pepper
fresh or dried dill
100g smoked salmon

Slice loaf of bread and set aside.  Mix cream cheese, salt, peper, lemon juice and dill until smooth.  Spread cream cheese over bread slices and top each slice with smoked salmon.  Serve immediately.

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