Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fresh Orange Cake

Coconut adds extra flavor and texture to this easy, quick-to-mix fruit cake. Recipe serves 10-12.


1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
8 ounces (250 g) polyunsaturated margarine spread
Grated rind of 3 large oranges
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups self-rising (raising) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Icing and Decoration:
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 ounces (50 g) polyunsaturated margarine spread
4 teaspoons fresh orange juice
Orange slices and mint sprigs, to decorate


1. Put the coconut and lukewarm milk into a mixing bowl, mix well and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and line a deep, 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin or a deep heart-shaped tin.
3. Add the margarine, orange rind, caster sugar and eggs to the coconut-milk mixture; sift over the flour and baking powder. Beat together with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until evenly combined.
4. Put the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1-1 1/4 hours, or until well risen and brown. The top of the cake should spring back when lightly pressed.
5. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Remove the lining paper and cool.
6. Beat together the icing sugar, margarine and orange juice until smoothly blended. Spread over the top of the cake. Decorate with orange slices and mint.

Tip: Beat the cake ingredients with a hand-held electric mixer for 1 minute or with the back of a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes. Over beating will make the cake heavy.

Green Beans and Mustard Sauce

In this fresh vegetable side dish the beans are served with a rich and creamy sauce, perfect for a special dinner party. A delicious accompaniment to beef. Recipe serves 6.


1 pound (500 g) green beans
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon French mustard
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 cup cream
2 teaspoons vinegar


1. To make the sauce heat the egg yolks, mustard and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Mix continuously until mixture is frothy.
2. Add cream and mix for 3 minutes. Add vinegar. This can be set aside at this stage and reheated over simmering water when the beans are cooked.
3. Wash and top and tail beans. Steam until tender but still crisp.
4. Pour sauce over beans and serve.