Wednesday, 10 December 2014


This week my big two finished school for the year.

It's been a big one. Both of them achieving great successes in different ways. Sometimes through hardship and wonky pathways.
I am talking not necessarily about awarded successes but rather intangible success.
Success in becoming who they are.

Sometimes the measure of success is a bit of a blurry thing I reckon.
Blurry in the sense that awards sometimes don't recognise really huge achievements that really count.

As is customary at most schools there is a Speech night & awards are handed out.  The principal and other senior teachers and children say a few words.

At this speech night, our big kids school Principal said something that really stuck with me.
It was this:

Don't think of your education as the things you learn here but as something that you can go away and give to others.

Powerful words.

I love that idea.  That what we learn throughout our life only become worthwhile if we give it away.
Our knowledge is only useful if we share it.

The act of giving.  A wonderful thing to focus on at this time of year.

Not giving things and stuff but giving ourselves.

Giving love.

I made this cake last week and LOVED it.
My mate Stacey is coming over tomorrow and so I have baked another one to share with her.
This is a great Christmas time cake as it's spice makes it festive.
I used this recipe for inspiration but made a few changes.
Upside down cakes are so great & really quite easy.  Just be sure to line your cake tin with baking paper. I find using a springform tin helps too, although I used a well greased silicon tin for the one pictured here and it worked really well (the trick to using silicon cake tins is to lie them on a baking tray to pop in and out of the oven as they are floppy and the cake will break as you move it).


for the spiced salted caramel:

  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 5 oranges, skin on, sliced into 1/2 cm slices
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
for the cake:
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon bi-carb
  • 250g salted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 6-7 slices cooked orange slices from spiced salted caramel 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 175C.

First we make the Spiced salted Caramel.
Place sugar, water, spices, salt and sliced oranges into a non stick fry pan.
Spread the orange slices evenly around the pan.
Turn on the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
Once the sugar has dissolved, turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or so until the pith of the orange becomes transparent.
Remove from heat and stir in butter.
Remove 6-7 slices from this mix to be added to the cake batter and set aside the rest to cool.
In a mixer add butter & sugar and mix till fluffy & light.
Add the eggs.

Chop the cooked orange slices coarsely and add these.
Now add the almond meal & sour cream & mix.

Slowly add the flour, baking powder & bi-carb.

Grease and line a 23cm springform tin.

Arrange the whole orange slices around the tin and pour some of the caramel over the top (I save some of mine to serve with the cake later).

Now carefully add the cake batter on top and smooth over so it is fairly uniformly spread across the tin.

Place into the oven and cook for at least an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from oven and use a knife to separate the caramel from the edge.
Let cool and invert onto a serving plate.

Serve with some of the reserved caramel sauce.


  1. Hi,

    I can't believe that school is nearly over and Christmas is arriving soon...

    I like your cake... It is a lovely way to countdown to Christmas.

    For Dec 2014, I'm giving away a few prizes and like to ask if you are interested to win these prizes.

    Good luck!


  2. I like your idea of giving, sort of like sharing ie conversation, your time, your knowledge, your skills. What is any of it worth if not for sharing?
    Recipe gorgeous. Roll on holidays and gentle no schedules


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