Orange bars

Orange bars

I love oranges, they’re one of the most versatiles fruits of this season. You can use all of them, zests included. And one of the tarts that to me is the quintessence of oranges is the orange bar, which is gonna make you happy at tea time or even after lunch or dinner. It is so easy to make that you will have it ready in minutes literally.
Ingredients are few:

140 gr of gluten free flour
120 gr non salted butter
150 gr sugar
3 eggs
1 organic orange (we need the zest and the juice)
1 tsp baking powder
Melt the butter and then whisk it carefully with the sugar. Then add the eggs and continue whisking properly until the batter is soft and without lumps.
Add the orange zest and the juice, whisk it into the batter, and then adda again the flour little by little (Always whisking to avoid lumps) and the baking powder. Please check carefully the consistency of the batter, it must be soft and creamy, not too liquid and not too solid.
Put the batter into a baking pan (square) covered the greaseproof paper, level it evenly and then bake it into a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20/25 minutes.
Let it cool down and then cut it into bits, and then drizzle with some icing sugar.

Castagnaccio with orange juice

Castagnaccio with orange juice

I have a confession to make: I hate castagnaccio!
I’ve always thought it tasted like cardboard… not that desirable! But this is a traditional cake from Tuscany and it is the quintessence of cakes for people suffering from celiac disease like my dad. As I did not like it, I made a few adds, like sugar and orange juice… purists will certainly argue about that but I think it is supertasty, so why not!?
It is also quite simple to make and bake, so let’s go.
Ingredients are:
250 grams of chestnuts flour
5 tbs brown sugar (it is about 50 grams)
1 tbs candiade orange zest
20 gr pine nuts
20 gr raisin
10 gr nuts
15 gr EVO oil
300 ml water (room temperature)
100 ml orange juice
1 pinch of salt
Rosemary to decorate
Soak to soften th raisin and the put the pint nuts into a non stock pan to toast them. As soon as they start to exude the oils turn the heat off and let them cool down.
Take a bowl and sifts the chestnut flour into it, then pour the water in and then the orange juice, and stir well to prevent lumps. Then add the sugar, the oil and a pinch pof salt.
Whisk well until it reaches a batter-like consistency.
Then add the pine nuts, the raisin and the candied orange zest.
Put the batter into a greased baking tray (about 18 cm diameter), decorate it with the nuts, some other pine nuts and rosemary, and then into the convection oven, preheated at 180 degrees and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Check the cake with a toothpick (start some 10 minutes before the baking time is due) as every oven bakes differently.
The flavours of chestnuts and orange are so good together and they’ll surprise you!
It’s the perfect vegan and glutenfree cake!

Wholemeal flour and honey cookies

Wholemeal flour and honey cookies

I often happen to open a jar of honey, during the winter months especially to cure hoarseness and sore throat. Then I leave them open for weeks, even months, and I always end up throwing it all away. 

As I loathe throwing the food in the bin, with the remains of a jar of honey and of the  wholemeal flour I used to bake the cinnamon bread (you will find the pic on my Instagram account, I will in short post the recipe too in this blog), I bake these delicious cookies with honey, perfect for tea and for the first autumn mornings. They’re awfully simple too. 

90 gr of honey 

45 ml of oil (I used sunflower oil) 

1 egg 

250 gr of wholemeal flour 

1 teaspoon of baking powder 

50 gr of candied orange peel (if you can’t find it, the peel of one orange will do) 

Mix in a bowl the egg with the honey and the oil. When these ingredients are all mixed, add the flour and the baking powder little by little (we want to avoid unpleasant lumps). Last but not least the peel. Mix everything together until you get a homogeneous and soft consistency. 

Form little balls from dough and put them on a baking tray, covered with greaseproof paper. Before putting them in the oven, slightly press the dough balls with the palm of your hand. You may want to decorate them – anything you like. I just pressed the prongs of a fork to draw a stylized ear (not such a work of art!). 

Put in the oven at 160 degrees for 16 minutes and serve them only at room temperature.