Filled with flavours inspired by the Middle East, these mini loaf cakes are drizzled with a spiced orange blossom syrup.
- 2 oranges
- ½ cup (80 g) icing sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1¼ cups (275 g) caster sugar
- 250 g ground almonds (see Note)
- ¼ cup pistachios, roasted, roughly chopped, to garnish
- Rose petals, to garnish
Spiced orange blossom syrup
- 1 orange, juiced
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- Pinch ground cloves
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp orange blossom water (see Note)
- 1 tbsp (20 ml) lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Place the oranges in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours or until the oranges are very tender. Drain and set the oranges aside to cool.
- While the oranges are boiling, make the spiced orange blossom syrup by combining orange juice, spices and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove heat, allow to cool and add orange blossom water and lemon juice.
- Sift icing sugar into a small bowl, add 1 tbsp of the spiced orange blossom syrup and 2 teaspoons of water and mix until smooth. Set aside until serving.
- When the oranges are cooked, pre-heat oven to 160⁰C. Grease a mini loaf tin with eight ⅔ cup (160 ml) holes with butter.
- Cut the cooked oranges in half and remove any seeds. Place in a food processor with eggs, olive oil, vanilla and caster sugar and process until smooth. Add ground almonds and pulse until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared loaf tins, putting two ⅓ cup measures in each hole, and bake for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and sprinkle each mini loaf with 2 teaspoons of cooled spiced orange blossom syrup. Leave to cool before removing from tins.
- To serve, drizzle each mini loaf with icing and top with pistachios and rose petals.
• Orange blossom water is available from Middle Eastern food stores or gourmet delis. Ground almonds are also known as almond meal.