Unexpected guests and unexpected gifts provided sweet seasoning to the flavour of last weekend. After visiting with some old family friends and passing some pleasant hours talking about travel, tea, and all other parts of life in between, a gift turned up unbidden in the middle of the week.
For me? I asked.
She wanted you to have it because she knows you will appreciate it, came the reply.
Carefully unwrapped and laid out on the table like the treasure that they are was an absolutely beautiful fine porcelain tea set for six. Complete with tea pot, sandwich plates, and a tea pot warmer powered by a tea light candle. Milky cream porcelain with a golden rim, this tea set has travelled from Germany, and been loved and used for nearly 50 years. Now it is mine. Mine to love, and make memories with. All in the company and comfort of those who have used this before.
I am humbled by such a wonderful gift.
In return, I had to make a little something for afternoon tea and share a pot of tea and a slice of cake. To say thanks, and enjoy the ritual of chatting and pouring on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Here is the thank you gift I brought in return. Naturally gluten free, made from buckwheat and brown rice flours, seasoned with deepest winter’s blood oranges, and served with love. This cake is an everyday afternoon sort of treat. Share it to say thanks, and indulge in a little winter treat.
Blood Orange Poppyseed Cake
I baked my cake in an 8-inch ring tin but you could easily make 12 cupcakes, or use a conventional 8-inch round tin. You will just end up with a flatter cake. If you don’t require this cake to be gluten-free simply 225g of plain flour in place of the buckwheat flour, rice flour, and almond meal.
- 125 grams buckwheat flour
- 50 grams brown rice flour
- 50 grams almond meal
- 110 grams golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 145mL milk
- 80mL blood orange juice (About one really juicy orange. Save the other for decoration and juice for the glaze.)
- 2 large eggs
- 80mL rice bran oil (or other lightly flavoured oil)
- Grated zest 2 blood oranges
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Oil and line an 8-inch ring tin.
- Juice and zest oranges. Set aside.
- In a large bowl put buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, almond meal, salt, caster sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, and grated orange zest. Stir together with a whisk – my version of sifting for a cake like this. Make sure there are no lumps of sugar or almond meal. Set this aside.
- In a jug mix together milk, juice, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat this mixture well.
- Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the lined ring tin.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out and cool completely.
- For the glaze: mix together 1 tablespoon blood orange juice and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Drizzle over cooled cake. Decorate with thinly sliced blood orange.
So tell me dear reader, have you ever had an unexpected gift?