This week has been a whirl...thanks so much to all who have read &/or commented on my last post...Sugar Moon has been and will always be a labour of love for me, and I am thrilled that it's been received so well. It was great to send out the first orders in our gorgeous new boxes and receive amazing feedback too! We now have a Facebook page where you can read all the latest news and see what others have to say...if you haven't already, do please visit and 'Like' us!!
Wednesday was particularly busy...baking all morning (5am start...although that's no hardship at this time of year and I'm a lark rather than an owl, luckily!) then I attended a charity lunch at a beautiful barn set in some of the most beautiful countryside that Bucks has to offer...it was a very hot, sunny day but while the others quaffed Pimms I stuck firmly to the Rhubarb & Elderflower cooler and the water...too much to do to drink alcohol midday, sadly! When I got back, I had to deliver 60 trays of brownies and other goodies to a customer before changing and catching a train to London, touting a bag full of warm cake!
I was heading to Islington, to the Cookbook Club run by food writer and tv presenter Thane Prince . It's held usually once a month (although there is a break in August) in a large room over a great pub, The Draper's Arms. There's a nominal £10 fee to cover refreshments and there's always a theme...the idea is to bring a book and a dish with a link to whatever that may be. This time it was Iberia. I didn't have much time and wanted to take something that could cool down on the way, safely, as well as being delicious of course! So I found a recipe for a lovely traditional Almond Cake - Torta de Almendras in Spanish.
So here's the recipe!
Adapted from one by Jane Berenbau on this site ...I have tweaked it, as I never can resist doing so!
Torta de Almendras
Preheat oven to 170c
Grease and line a 23cm (9") loose-bottomed round cake tin with baking parchment
300g blanched almonds (or you can use ready ground if easier)
80g Maria/Rich Tea type plain biscuits - I used Morning Coffee biscuits
280g caster sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
25g blanched flaked almonds
In a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until very thick and pale - about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grind the almonds with the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble fine meal.
Zest and juice the oranges. Alternately fold the almond/biscuit mixture and the orange juice & citrus zest into the eggs & sugar, using a large metal spoon. Pour into the prepared tin, scatter the flaked almonds gently over the top and bake for around 45 minutes. When baked, the top will be golden brown with a slight crust and a skewer inserted into the centre will be almost clean with just a few bits of mixture clinging to it.
Cool on a wire rack, in the tin (loosen the sides)
It keeps well, covered at room temperature, for at least 3 days.
The Cookbook Club was great fun...although there weren't many of us there this time, we so enjoyed each others company as well as the range of delicious food....and it was brilliant to have a couple of hours to relax, meet new friends and chat about our favourite subject - food! We were very lucky to have the expert in Catalan cooking, Rachel McCormack, to talk to us as well. If it sounds like fun to you, then please do join us!! It's open to all...men and women, knowledgeable or not...you just need an interest in eating really!
The next meeting is on September 10th at 7pm and the theme...to be confirmed..is Wild Food. My brain is buzzing with ideas already!
Hoping you've had a good week....
Until next time x
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