Jolly good days are birthdays!
I remember my one and the only birthday party was thrown when I was 8 years old. I remember that birthday was celebrated by a family which had less to give in terms of money but more to give in terms of love. A small gift they gave me was a few Birds Of Paradise Flowers. It wasn’t much, I didn’t have much friends and those 2 individuals who celebrated it was smiling to be able to see my innocent face smile.
It was amazing how people from a different culture as well as familial backgrounds can bring joy together through birthdays.
That was my experience, but how do I recreate it for others?
So how do we collaborate taste, fun, health, mind, body, soul and sentiment at the same time?
This time I decided to make an amazing cake for my teammate Julia since she told me she has forgotten the last time someone baked a cake for her — so I decided to give her a new memory.
Her happy-go-lucky and caring personality pushed me towards making her a cake as exciting as her character. An Orange-Kiwi Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Candied Orange Peel.
Why such an odd combination of flavor? How do Orange and Kiwi help your psychological state?
A citrus fruit is known for its bright colors as well as its lively appearance. A fruit that consists of both soluble and insoluble fiber which ensures your moves smoothly through your intestines and gets “Eaten Up” by your “Gut Bacteria”. This makes your liver happy.
How does this fun fact relate to your psychology?
A healthy liver means your immune system is also at it’s best performance. Hence, this directly calms down stress and anxiety as well as allows you to focus on tasks at hand instead of being a “Thought Wanderer”.
Kiwi the superfood of the century — is known for its amazing properties and its refreshing taste. It’s a strong sleep-promoting food. In an experiment which was conducted by Taiwan-Taipei’s Medical University with about 22 volunteers showed after eating 2 Kiwis before sleeping for about 4 weeks had an increase about 13.4% of total sleep efficiency.
There are 2 main reasons why Kiwi’s are a form of Natures Sleeping Pills:
Kiwi’s are amazing antioxidants- research has shown that individuals with poor antioxidants tend to be sleep deprived too. Therefore, the one way to balance out both your bodies antioxidant levels as well as sleep is to eat food which contains a high level of anti-oxidants. On the other hand, studies have shown that by having high levels of antioxidants reduces the risks of cardiovascular disease related to sleepapnea.
On the other hand, kiwi’s being a fruit containing high serotonin. A hormone which acts as a neurotransmitter. Serotonin has been long associated with benefits towards cardiovascular as well as digestive system. It helps in both learning and memory and also helps regulate appetite and mood.
Surprisingly, we are all familiar on how serotonin elevates our mood and reduces depression.
Fun Fact: Serotonin also interacts with Melatonin- hence guess what BEST SLEEP EVER !!
So Now For The Recipe
For The Cake
3–4 Oranges — (Peel cut into thin stripes, and Juice Pulped)
2 Cups Whole Grain Wheat Flour
2 Teaspoon Of Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon of Yeast (Activate it in milk)
250g of Butter (Not Margarine but Butter)
4 Kiwi’s (Peeled and Chopped)
4 Cups of Honey
1 Cup of Milk
3 Egg Whites and 1 Egg Yolk
For The Candied Orange Peel
A Jar of Honey (Instead of Refined White Sugar)
Chopped Orange Peel
900g of Dark Chocolate
A Cup of Lactose-Free Milk
1. Peel your oranges and leave the peels aside
2. Squeeze In The Juice and remove the seeds.
3. Chop up the kiwis into tiny pieces.
4. In a separate bowl, sieve 2 cups of flour, baking soda and other powdered ingredients.
5. In another bowl add warm milk and add yeast in it — stir it to activate the yeast.
6. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they’re completely fluffy then add in the egg yolk.
7. Then add in the butter, vanilla and finally honey together and beat them using a mixer.
8. Next, add the yeast — milk mixture and the orange juice.
9. After mixing the wet ingredients- continue the process and add the dry ingredients to it.
10. Once the mixture is evenly mixed, add in the Kiwi’s and fold the mixture to avoid pulping the kiwis.
11. You can also add a small cup of lemon or lemon zest just to increase the taste of citrus in the cake.
12. Heat the oven up to 160 Degree Celcius- and line a baking tray with butter and flour, (it’s more an old school method- you can also use baking spray or baking paper), and add the cake mixture then shove it in the oven and let it bake for 35–45min. To test it you can use a toothpick.
13. In the meantime, you can start with your Orange Candy- starting by boiling the orange peels till they’re rather translucent.
14. Then add remove them and let me dry off — releasing all the access water.
15. In a separate pan, add 2 cups of water and half a jar of honey. Stir it continuously until you notice both the honey and water are mixed harmoniously.
16. Then add in you orange peel, cinnamon, and cardamon powder. Let the orange peel and the honey to continue cooking on low heat. Constantly, keep an eye on it and once you see the liquid thickening let it boil but stop stirring.
Once you see the syrup browning and thickening — leave it to boil a little more close to about another minute or two.
17. Then remove your orange peel and lay them on a grilling tray to let the excess syrup drip off.
18. Let it dry for about 6 hours to 8 hours for immediate use. Or you can also store them in a jar and use them when needed.
Final Preparation And Decoration
1. Once your cake has baked leave it to cool for about 2–3 hours. The cooler the better it is for you chocolate ganache to sit.
2. For the chocolate ganache, all you need to do is — pour the water in a pan and let it warm up.
3. In a glass bowl, add in your dark chocolate and butter.
4. Place this glass bowl above the simmering water and use the heat to slowly melt the chocolate.
5. Once the chocolate’s melted and if you find it too thick you can add some milk according to your approximation.
Putting The Cake Together
1. On a cake rack, place your palm to check if your cake has cooled down.
2. Take off the orange candy from you grill rack and put it in a bowl close to you.
3. Pour the chocolate over and use a spatula or something flat to spread the chocolate evenly. around .
4. Arrange or sprinkle the orange candy on the top of the cake and let both the chocolate and the candy to set.
Now take it to the birthday and get everyone to enjoy it.