Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Little Orange and Almond Cakes (Gluten Free)


I've had a rather uncomfortable morning. It started with a frozen breakfast smoothie that I wolfed down too quickly on a cold, 3 degree C, winters morning... Major Brain Freeze. Then I did my morning run. Actually this morning I didn't run, I hobbled. Within 5 minutes of running, a pain so severe I had to look down at my abdomen to see if I'd been stabbed, grabbed me... the dreaded STITCH. I haven't had one in years, so I'd forgotten how debilitating they can be. I felt like the last rib on my right side had been stapled to my right hip and every time I moved, that awful grabbing, restricting sensation got me. It was so bad up until the 22 minute mark, that any body who saw me probably wondered why I didn't just stop and get that stone out of my shoe, I was limping so badly. At about the 31 minute mark, I felt  the pain subside so I tested my luck with a big, deep breath  - it was still there, hiding somewhere near my ribcage saying "I'm here for the long haul, consider me your running buddy." By the time I hit the 43 minute mark I finally felt free of that little stinker. Hopefully I left it puffing, wheezing and gasping for breath, bent over in the middle of the track, vowing never to take me on again... or is that me I'm visualising?

Little Orange and Almond Cakes (Gluten Free)
slightly adapted from Junior MasterChef Australia 
Makes 24 mini cakes

For the Cakes:
75g unsalted butter, softened
75g golden caster sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 egg
40g ground almonds
30g desiccated coconut
40g fine polenta
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk
Thin strips of orange zest to decorate

For the Orange Glaze:
160g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon orange juice

Make the Cakes:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line 2x12-hole mini muffin pans with mini paper or foil cases.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachement, beat butter, sugar and orange zest for 6 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. In a small bowl combine the ground almonds, coconut, polenta baking powder and salt. Stir the almond mixture into the butter mixture, then add orange juice and buttermilk, and stir well to combine.

Divide the mixture among the cases, then, using the back of the spoon, smooth the surface. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops are firm when lightly touched and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Orange Glaze:
Place the icing sugar and orange juice in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined. Spread a small spoonful of glaze on top of each little cake. Decorate with orange zest.