These bite-sized Couscous and Blood Orange Mini Cakes are dairy free, and can be made with any type of citrus of your choice. If not allergic, feel free to use butter for an ever tastier treat.
On Sunday, I woke up around 5am with a burning desire to bake something… I remember going to sleep, feeling incredibly inspired by Sherilyn’s recipe mentioned in Saturday’s post. By the time the sun came up, I had already entertained the puppy enough for her to let me be and had my first baking project on the rise – sweet ricotta buns. That was to satisfy my other recent craving (more about these soon).
Since my fruit bowl has been graced with the presence of some sweet new season blood oranges, I knew they would be perfect for a re-make of the Lemon Polenta Cakes recipe. To satisfy my curiosity, however, I chose to re-bake these cafe-style treats using quinoa. For some strange reason, perhaps because I was up so early, I cooked up a batch of couscous instead. Doh. Nevertheless, I decided to go with the flow and make the cakes with that. After all, couscous and orange is a classic combination of flavours.
The recipe makes 24 mini cakes, almost like petit fours, using a mini muffin tin. If you’d like to make the cakes larger, use a regular muffin tin and bake for an extra 10 minutes. You will get 12 – great for an afternoon tea or the lunchbox. Since couscous contains gluten, if you are allergic, go with the original Lemon Polenta Cakes recipe – just use blood orange instead.
- 1 cup couscous
- ½ cup blood orange juice
- ½ cup boiling water
- 50g dairy-free spread or butter, softened plus extra for greasing
- zest of 1 blood orange
- ¼ cup blood orange juice
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup desiccated coconut
- Couscous prepared as above
- ½ cup blood orange juice
- ½ cup icing sugar
- Place couscous in a bowl. Add blood orange juice and boiling water. Mix well and allow to stand for 10 minutes, or until all the water and juice have been absorbed. Fluff up with a fork to separate. Set aside to cool.
- Cream dairy-free spread or butter in a large bowl using a mixer. Add zest, juice and egg and continue mixing on a lower speed for another minute.
- Add desiccated coconut and couscous and mix until the mixture is blended well. About 1 minute.
- Grease muffin tray with extra dairy-free spread or butter.
- Scoop mixture into muffin holes, pressing down gently to fill and even out the tops.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes for mini cakes, or 25 minutes if using a regular-size muffin tray.
- When ready, remove from oven, invert onto a cutting board and cool.
- Place blood orange juice in a small pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the juice down to about a quarter of the original volume. It will thicken and become slightly syrupy. Allow to cool.
- Once cooled, add enough icing sugar for the mixture to thicken into icing.