There’s a cafe slash giftshop slash whatever about 5kms north of Stanthorpe on the highway. Vincenzo’s I think it’s called… well, something like that. Although Warwick is the next reasonable sized town and isn’t too far away, we’ve never liked to stop there – mainly because the choice is Maccas or Maccas. After Warwick, you’ve really only got Aratula – at the foot of Cunningham’s Gap – before you hit Ipswich and the nightmare run through Brisbane and onto the Bruce Highway.
Anyways, we stopped at Vincenzo’s as we always do only to find that it’s closed and the landlord has put one of those lockout signs on the door. That’s when we noticed the converted church next door. Although the sign said it was a winery – the wine industry is a happening thing in the granite belt – there was also a coffee shop inside. And, wonder of all wonders, hubby declared the coffee to be good (I had black tea).
They also served an amazing orange and almond cake – one of those cakes that tastes like it’s had syrup drizzled all through it, but hasn’t really. I sent the owner a message on Instagram to see if I could have the recipe but received no reply so you’ll need to make do with my version – which is pretty good if I do say so myself. It’s also super easy. While the oranges are doing their thing, you can be doing yours. After that, it’s really just a bit of whizzing in the food processor and a little light whisking. No trouble at all.
What you need
- 2 large oranges or 3 smaller ones – you need about 375g worth of pulp
- 1 cinnamon stick and a couple of cloves (optional)
- 6 eggs
- 225g sugar
- 250g almond meal/ ground almonds
- 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
What you do with it
- Pop the oranges, the cloves and the cinnamon stick (if you’re using it) in a saucepan and fill with cold water. I pop a plate over the top to keep the oranges submerged. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours or until soft. You might need to top the water up from time to time.
- Drain the oranges and allow to cool. Cut in half and remove any pips then blitz them in a processor – skins and all.
- Preheat the oven to 190C and grease and line a springform pan – if you need measurements, the tin should be about 21cm.
- Beat the eggs and then add the sugar and mix well. Leave for a couple of minutes to let the sugar dissolve into the eggy mix. Add the almonds and baking powder and stir through. Finally, add the oranges.
- Pour the mix into your prepared tin and pop it into the oven for about an hour – but check it after 45 minutes. You might need to place some alfoil over the top if it’s browning too quickly. It’s cooked when a skewer comes out clean.
- Let it cool in the tin before turning out.
I poshed it up a bit by lining the base of the tin with thinly sliced orange slices before I poured in the batter, and served it with a crumb that I made from toasted almond praline that I blitzed in the nutribullet. Yes, I’ve been watching too much Masterchef, and no, it didn’t really add much to the dish.
I also made an orange sauce using half a cup of orange juice, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 cinnamon stick that I reduced down a tad, before whisking in 30g of butter. With some vanilla ice cream on the side it was declared a keeper.