13 February 2011

Bigger IS better

Yes my friends, the old adage is true, bigger is better...when it comes to fridges.

What did you think I meant?

When my Beloved and I decided to make the leap to move in together, we tried to make do with each others meagre positions. That included using, for the last two VERY long years, my Beloved's 'bachelor' fridge.

My Beloved's bachelor fridge
As you can see, it is a little larger than a bar fridge, and, as you can imagine, this has made entertaining just a little more challenging for me. However, in support of my great efforts to fit all manor of food items for many varying number of guests into this pint size fridge, I have now received an adjunct professorship to the culinary school of 'how to fit a cow into a crisper'. Bravo me!

But from today, no longer do I have to sit on the floor while I rearrange the fridge for the fourth time that day so I can fit in the marinating chicken - which apparently prefers to remain cold for some silly reason called Salmonella - or to fit in the bubbles - which is essential for any dinner party, would you not agree? - or even just to fit my fruit in the fridge - which for some reason isn't appreciating our thirty degree days with eighty per cent humidity.

So today was an extraordinarily exciting day as I got (okay, we got) delivered a BIG fridge.

Our new 519 litre Fisher & Paykel fridge
I love it!

I can even put my Beloved in it.

Our new fridge is big enough for my
Beloved to cool down in

12 February 2011

Sicilian orange cake

This week was book club week. I know, I'm such a nerd. Book club is really just an excuse for a group of us to get together, gossip, eat, drink, laugh...oh, and read books.

Book club was held at my place this month, so I treated the gang to a wonderful Sicilian orange cake by Rick Stein, with a few TSRK changes.

This recipe is perfect for summer; or for my overseas friends, this is the perfect cake to prepare you for the summer months you have coming up.

Sicilian orange cake
by Rick Stein from Mediterranean Escapes

Sicilian orange cake with cream cheese icing and
lemon, lime and orange zest on top
250g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1.5 tsp finely grated orange zest
250g self-raising flour*
85ml freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 22 cm spring back round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

Using an electric whisk cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until very pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating very well between each one. Beat in the orange zest. Add the flour* all at once and mix in well, then slowly mix in the orange juice.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. It it starts to brown too quickly, which it always does in my oven, loosely cover the cake with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.

*Flour - I have found that making your own self raising flour works best for this cake. Simply use the same amount of plain flour and add 3 tsp of baking powder to it. It works a treat.

Rick Stein icing
This is a great simple icing and works perfectly.
125 g icing sugar
5 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Simply sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the orange juice until you have a spreadable consistency. Spread it over the top of the cake letting it drip down the sides. Delicious.

TSRK icing
To make your cake look a little more exotic for a birthday party - or book club - this is the one I used that isn't too sweet.

250g cream cheese, at room temperature
50g butter, at room temperature
1tsp orange zest
1/4 cup icing sugar, or to your liking of sweetness

With an electric whisk mix the cream cheese and butter. Add the zest and sugar to your liking. Spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake. To decorate I simply finely grated orange, lemon and lime zest over the top for a little colour.

Digging in!