You realize the cold weather has started kicking in when you don’t get the overwhelming urge to get out of the house the minute you get in. The duvets come out, the carpets are put in place, the odious task of wardrobe shuffling starts and long sleeves make a much-welcomed appearance.
And in my case, the oven is put into good use and the television is on again.
This weekend we saw The Great Gatsby. Leonardo di Caprio is not my favourite actor. I fail to disassociate him from the baby-faced actor who played Jack in the Titanic, and I find his portrayal of older characters lacking. He here plays the lead character, and along with Tobey Maguire who narrates the tale of Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan who plays the love interest, the film was surprisingly very good to watch. I use the term ‘surprisingly’ because it took us some minutes to get into the film. The director is Baz Luhrmann, and if you of any of his films, you may know why his films are not the usual ones. You have Jay-Z playing at a 1920s party and brightly used colours on a black and white background which make it unusual, but pleasant to the eye and ear. The soundtrack is great I have to say. My personal favourites are nearly all there (Florence and the Machine, Lana del Ray and Alicia Keys amongst others). Unlike my usual experiences, I did not read the book prior to watching the movie, and I only ordered it now. I always regret watching a film after reading the book – the book is always that bit better. So this time I worked it out the opposite…we’ll see how it plays out.
And I baked 🙂
This week I did a yummy and slightly strange Almond and Cinnamon Cake. ‘Strange’ because unbeknownst to me when choosing to make it, it is a gluten-free and dairy-free cake. It is shallow in appearance, but the taste of ground almonds gives it a rich taste, with the cinnamon topping just pulling it off ever so well. It is very easy to make and the reviews were very good as well! I’m definitely doing this one again!
So if you’re interested…
– 8 egg whites (I used 6 and that was enough).
– 150g caster sugar
– Few drops of almond essence
– Zest of 1 clementine or 1/2 an orange (I used one of each)
– 125ml mild and light olive oil
– 150 ground pure almonds
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 100g flaked almonds
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– Approximately 2 teaspoons icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 Celcius and grease a springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites until they are opaque and start to hold their shape. Then slowly add the sugar and whisk until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is thick and shiny.
Add the almond essence and the clementine/orange zest. Then, in about 3 goes each, alternately whisk in teh oil and the ground almonds (mixed with the baking powder) until they are both smoothly incorporated into the meringue.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, then mix together the flaked almonds and cinnamon and sprinkle them over the top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes (start checking at 30 minutes) until the top has risen and set, and the almonds are golden. A tester should come out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool.
You can then sprinkle some icing sugar on the top to create a snowy effect. I did without just to use that bit less sugar.
(Healthy eating and all that…)
Christmas is coming up and I would definitely recommend this one for the festive period. It’s easy to make and it’ll definitely make a hit!
Have a great week 😉