Last week the weather in Sydney warmed up to the point where it had me totally convinced Spring had already arrived (today I have no such delusions). When the weather warms up after the winter months you tend to want to come out of hibernation and get together with your friends.
On Sunday my cousin Pip, and her husband and their children came for lunch. The weather was so wonderful we were able to eat outside. I had a busy Saturday and then Saturday night we were round at Mr Competitive’s house so I didn’t actually start any cooking or shopping until Sunday morning.
I was up early and I headed out to the shops and bought everything I needed including some jonquils to give that touch of Spring to the table.
For an appetiser I wrapped fresh rocket and a slither of taleggio cheese in a slice of proscuitto. These are so quick and easy to do and a lovely way to start a Sunday lunch. When I made them I covered them in cling film and put them in the fridge however I should have removed them about half an hour before the guests arrived so the cheese had a chance to come to room temperature – next time!
The main course was a pork belly roasted for a couple of hours and then served on a bed of rice with a caramelised vinegar sauce and a side dish of some steamed green beans.
I was very happy with the pork. The crackle was full of crunch and the caramelised vinegar cut through the richness of the pork. I’ve blogged this recipe before and you can find the recipe here. There’s a chance I overcooked the beans but that’s only because we were outside on the terrace enjoying a glass of Chardonnay and swapping some fabulous stories – straining the beans could wait.
Where I have two older children and then a younger child, my cousin has one older child and two younger ones. Her older son was away at Uni so he didn’t come and neither did Arabella and Archie as they were doing their ‘independent adult’ thing. So we had three little ones and I knew they wouldn’t be up for a slice of pork with a vinegar sauce so I cooked them some chipolatas and they had them with bread rolls.
Pip kindly offered to make dessert. She brought meringues for the children and a gluten-free sour cherry cake for dessert. (Except that she couldn’t find sour cherries so she made it with tinned cherries).
It’s a very light cake with good texture coming from the ground almonds and the cherries soft and sweet. It’s a cake that doesn’t need frosting and we enjoyed it lightly dusted with icing sugar and with some cream on the side.
Pip forwarded her recipe to me so I can share it with you:
Gluten-Free Sour Cherry Cake
Degree of Difficulty: 2/5
Cost: When you think of what you pay in a cafe for a slice of cake, this comes in at an extremely reasonable price. I think it cost me less than $12.00 to make this cake so that’s about $1.20/slice.
- 200g softened butter (7oz)
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 4 free-range eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup GF self-raising flour (but you don’t have to make this GF)
- 75g almond meal
- 2 tbspns almond milk (or cow’s milk)
- 1 cup sour cherries
Pre-heat oven to 180C (375F)
Grease and line a 21cm (8.5 inch) spring-form pan (or regular cake tin).
Take out your Kitchen Aid (or equivalent) and beat butter until it’s as white as possible. Gradually add sugar. (You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl). When light and fluffy add vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time until well combined.
Using a metal spoon, mix in flour, then almond meal, then milk.
Pour cake batter into cake tin and smooth surface.
Drain the cherries then scatter across the top of the cake. (No need to be decorative as they will sink during the cooking process).
Place in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Cake is cooked when it springs back after you lightly touch it.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin. Remove, place on cake stand, dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream and a few extra cherries on the side.
If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it.