Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oranges are not the only fruit

But they are what I used plenty of today! I got the inspiration for today's post from a blog I regularly visit called "Tea for One" which you can find here.
I always love Eva's photos and very thoughtful and contemplative text and ideas. Recently she wrote about The Colour Orange campaign, where the athletes attending the Beijing Olympics have to sign a waiver that effectively stops them from commenting on China's political situation, namely their rather questionable human rights record. The full details of the campaign can be viewed here , basically it is about highlighting violations of human rights that occur in China, especially given so much attention is being given to the Beijing Olympics this year.

I decided I would join Eva in theming today's blog ORANGE as a way of expressing support for the campaign. It seems a little frivolous to sit here in the comfort of my own home and take photos of baking and yet having had my attention drawn to it, I have already spoken with a number of people about it. That is the way these things work I guess, if it generates discussion, then in my opinion it is worthwhile.
So I grabbed a bag of oranges from the supermarket and had no trouble sorting out what to make.

First up was orange flavoured cupcakes. I used Nigella's cupcake recipe (which you can find here ). I have made these quite a few times and it is an excellent recipe. I popped some orange zest in the mix this time. I always make triple and do them in mini muffin tins (with paper cases) and it yields 60 of the little suckers! Not bad I think! I bothered to work out how much they cost and it works out at 15c per cupcake for the ingredients, pretty good I think. I do them up in containers and freeze them for my daughters lunchboxes. She loves them.

Today, I was also interested in trying out how these would look for the tea party we are doing next month. I iced them with royal icing, flavoured with orange juice and (unfortunately) coloured with a little orange food colouring. I made small ones and larger ones which I popped a wee white chocolate melt and some orange rind on each......

I also made some Date and Orange scones, again to pop in the freezer for after school snacks for the kids, as well as Apricot, Almond and Orange Biscotti.

They both turned out very nice, here are the recipes......

Date and Orange Scones

3c standard flour

6 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

75g butter, chopped

1 cup chopped pitted dates

1 tbsp finely grated orange juice

1-11/2 c milk

extra milk to brush

Preheat oven to 220C. Line baking tray with baking paper. Sift flour baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in dates and zest. Add sufficient milk to mix quickly to a soft dough, using a knife. Knead lightly, then transfer dough to baking tray. Press into a rectangle about 3cm thick. Cut into 12 pieces. Leave a 2 cm space between scones. Brush tops with milk. (I sprinkled over some cinnamon sugar before baking). Bake for 10 mins until golden.

The biscotti are an adaptation of my Cranberry and Cashew biscotti, here is the recipe for the original, substitute the cranberries for sliced apricots, the cashews for almond slivers and the lemon zest for orange zest! These are a breeze to make and are great to give away in little bags as gifts. I love them for dunking in my coffee!

Cashew and cranberry biscotti

2 cups all purpose flour
1 c sugar
½ tsp baking powder
3 lge eggs beaten
1 tsp lemon zest
2/3 c roasted cashews coarsely chopped
½ c dried cranberries
Combine first 3 ingredients. Add eggs and mix until soft dough forms. Add last 3 ingredients and mix well. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 20 cm roll about 6cm wide and flatten slightly. Bake 175 c for 30 mins. Remove and let cool for at least an hour. Cut into 1cm wide slices, arrange in single layer cut side up and bake for 15 – 20 mins until browned and dry. Makes about 24 biscotti.

Baked as "loaves" first
Cut and bake again
The finished product


vonsachsen said...

Wow!!!! Linda, you did it big time!:D Those cupcakes look wonderful, I love that subtle orange color!And the scones and biscotti, your kitchen must have looked like a bakery :)
You had everything planned in detail...even the background to those gorgeous flowers is orange. Beautiful photo, btw!

vonsachsen said...

Sorry, me again, I love that cupcake ...ummm...tablecloth? Very pretty.

pistachio said...

Mmmmm Linda, everything looks so yummy. Thank you in particular for posting the recipe for the Date and Orange Scones ... they look right up my street!

pi xxx

hungryandfrozen said...

Wow Linda, beautiful photos - they are just getting better and better :) I love your "light" that you have, the energy-saver bulbs in our kitchen aren't terribly flattering! Those cupcakes look absolutely gorgeous. Hope your teef are feeling better! X

Ms O said...

A great post, Linda! Thanks to you and Eva for drawing our attention to The Color Orange Project. I'll be sure to share that link.

Your posts and food photos are wonderful!!

Lea xo