Blood Orange and Almond Cake 
This cake is an adaptation of a recipe by the famous chef Claudia Roden, it’s really easy to make and also gluten and dairy free. It uses a whole orange, skin and all, which gives the cake a really great deep flavour. I love it served with thick greek yoghurt, chopped almonds and a generous drizzle of honey. If you want to go all out, enjoy it with the poached rhubarb too….

  • 2 whole blood oranges
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 125g caster sugar, plus a tablespoon for the orange upside-down topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the over to 180 degrees celsius and line the bottom and sides of a 16cm cake tin with baking paper
  2. Place one whole orange in a microwavable bowl, pierce it once and cover the bowl with cling film. Microwave the orange for 3-5 minutes until its soft and squishy. Allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the second orange into thin slices. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the cake tin and place slices of orange on top. You can overlap them slightly in a nice pattern. This will give you an orange topping to your cake once you turn it out of the tin.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, baking powder and caster sugar.
  5. Retrieve your microwaved orange. Chop it into quarters. Remove any pips and blitz it in a food processor or with a hand blender.
  6. Stir the blitzed orange into the cake mix and pour the whole mixture into the cake tin.
  7. Bake in the over for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden, firm and springy to the touch and a knife or skewer comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a cooling rack with the sliced oranges on the top. Remove the baking paper and allow the cake to cool completely before tucking in.

Perfectly Pink Poached Rhubarb
Rhubarb is one of my all time favourite flavours. In crumble, in salad, in jam, in sweets. In January perfectly pink forced rhubarb is in season and I love to simply poach it to preserve the gorgeous colour. I use a little cardamon too for a hint of warming spice. This is so straight forward and you’ll have a gorgeous bowl of rhubarb to brighten up your puddings, yoghurt or porridge….

  • 400g rhubarb
  • 200g water
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 5/6 cardamon pods
  1. Put the water, sugar and crushed cardamon pods in a pan. Heat and gently bring it to the boil.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into approx. 4cm pieces.
  3. Add the chopped rhubarb to the sugar syrup and turn off the heat straight away. Cover and allow to cool completely.

PS keep hold of the rhubarb syrup and add a little to your G&T!