Now, while I may cook from time to time, I most definitely don’t bake. All my baking experiments so far have ended up in disaster. But last Saturday I went ahead and did something crazy – I baked an orange almond paleo loaf (🙀 ). And it kinda turned out all right. So here’s my recipe for orange almond paleo loaf, in ten easy – ahem – steps.
ORANGE ALMOND PALEO LOAF
Stumble on a recipe for orange almond loaf while absent-mindedly thumbing through a stash of mags. Skim through the article, cast an eye on the ingredients section, but mostly just look at the pictures and notice familiar rumbling sound emanating from my stomach.
Retain two important points: (1) that the loaf is made by boiling and then blending two whole oranges, and (2) that it calls for butter. Think to myself, the butter could be replaced with coconut oil, to make it fully paleo.
Develop bizarre craving to bake. Convey this new urge to husbandito. ‘Are you feeling OK sweetie?’ he asks, tentatively.
Cab it to Whole Foods to buy two oranges, almond flour and baking paper to line the cake tin. Realise I don’t own a cake tin. Add a cake tin to the shopping list. Bring my new baking loot home (…can I get a #shoppinghaul?😝).
Fill a large pan three-quarters of the way with water, put on the hob at full blast. Chop the oranges into quarters, plonk into the water, cover with lid. Wait for the water to boil. Artfully arrange a tea towel on the hob, mess around on Instagram for a bit. Leave to simmer.
Take a mixing bowl, mix two eggs with what feels like a generous amount of almond flour (how much exactly? Not a clue, I forgot to buy a measuring cup). Remember I have some sliced almonds in the cupboard, so sprinkle in some almonds. Take a clean spoon and add some honey. Get distracted and start licking the honey from the spoon. Wonder if too much honey can make you diabetic.
Add a table spoon of coconut oil to a pan, heat up until liquid. Add to flour and eggs. Try remember where I stashed the whisk. Fumble around for a bit, find the whisk, and mix together all the ingredients.
Remember the oranges are still simmering. Pray they’re OK. Take a ladle and gently fish them out the hot water, straight into the blender. Plug in the blender and blitz them into a paste. Scoop the orange paste into the main mixing bowl, gently folding it in the cake mixture until blended evenly.
Insert the baking paper into the cake tin, then pour the cake mixture in. Feel ridiculously smug for having got so far. Turn on the oven to 180 degrees, check I’ve selected the little symbol that suggests some sort of fan situation, bang the cake tin into the oven.
Wait some more.
Begin to get impatient (or is it hungry?). Open the oven, and using a fork, poke the loaf to see if it’s done yet. Realise it’s still far from cooked, and that I could have done with just the one orange. Regret not having paid more attention to the proportions in the original recipe.
Realise I smell something burning. Open the oven and realise the top of the loaf has ever so slightly turned brown (🙀). So much for the little fan symbol. Remove the cake from the oven. Decide to let it cool on the kitchen counter for half an hour.
Spend the majority of that half hour shoo-ing the husband away from the kitchen with calls of ‘it’s not ready yet’ and ‘go away.’ Eventually give in, and cut husband a teensy sliver to try.
He deems it delicious. Gloat at my goddess-like culinary skills and proceed to devour the rest of the cake with the hubs. Saturday afternoon well spent.
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IMAGE – The Conran Shop, Joseph Joseph.