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Red Cross & kitchen secrets

It’s a special belly today, celebrating 100 years of the Red Cross with a bit of history and a call to arms – get thee to a kitchen, and bake a cake.  And then I will bring you a wonderful session from the recent Byron Bay Writers Festival, ‘Kitchen Confidential’, with Simon Marnie, Christine Manfield, Steve Snow and Jim Hearne.  Find out what chefs really think of customers and critics, dusts and foams, why you should really invite a chef to dinner, and much much more.


The Red Cross in Bangalow is looking for local cooks who can contribute a cake by this Friday, August 15.  They are looking for 100 cakes, and hopefully will get even more.  So get along and support them by buying a cake too.

The BIG CAKE BAKE is a Red Cross fundraiser.  Take your cake, or cupcakes, to the Bangalow RSL Hall, Station Street by 8.30am for judging (or just donate a cake, you don’t need to compete).  Or go along and eat cake!  $5 for a slice of cake and a coffee or tea, from 10 am.  Call Trisha for more info on 0429 882525.

Today’s guest, Trisha Bleakley, has kindly contributed her own seasonal cake recipe to get you inspired.




3 mandarins (large) or 4 medium washed
250 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
6 eggs
250 g almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
icing sugar, to serve
Cook's notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection),
reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1
teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All
herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All
vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are
55-60 g, unless specified.


Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Wash the mandarins and cook in the
boiling water for 2 hours. Drain, allow to cool to room temperature, then
puree. This step can be done ahead of time.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 22 cm spring form cake tin
with baking paper. Beat the eggs and caster until well combined. Stir in
the mandarin puree followed by the almond meal and baking powder. Pour the
batter into the prepared tin and dust the top with extra caster sugar. Bake
for 1–1¼ hours, until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the
centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin. Dust with icing sugar, cut into slices and serve.


You can replace the mandarins with 2 oranges (Large)
If citrus is not in season you can use tinned mandarins, puree
Substitute almond meal for hazelnut meal (but it does give it a stronger

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