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WHB #62 – “Variation on the theme of HOPE”

>> Sunday, December 10, 2006

The theme of my post for this week WHB is HOPE. The inspiration comes from the special blogging event called Menu for Hope III, which is to raise funds for the United Nations World Food Programme. The event is to contribute a little to solve the problem of our modern world – there are people starving somewhere even though global agriculture output is on the rise…

I choose orange as my featured fruit with the idea of hope in mind. Orange is the name of a lovely citrus and also the name of a gorgeous colour. As a fruit, the orange slice represents beautifully the vibrant colour and shape of the rising sun. As a colour, orange carries the “energy of red and happiness of yellow”. It is the symbol for harvest, healthy food, strength, endurance and vitality (See Wikipedia). With such meanings, orange, for me, is the color and also the fruit of hope

Of course the choice of making the little Orange and Date Cake is a variation of the main theme. The recipe comes straight from the latest book by Donna Hay, Instant Entertaining, which is my donation for Menu for Hope III. Details on how you can “buy” the book will be posted shorly. The cake is very “Donna Hay’s style” – easy yet delicious. The light cake is served with warm orange syrup and little whipped cream. A nice final touch for a complete meal…

Finally, if you notice my photo for this post also follows the theme of Hope. It is because:

"Hope is like a bird that senses dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark."

(Unknown author)


Recipe is from Donna Hay’s Instant Entertaining. My modifications are in red and italic.

Ingredients (makes 4 muffin-size cakes):

½ cup plain flour

¾ cup ground almond

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup castor sugar

½ cup roughly chopped dates (I soaked the dates in brewed tea to reduce the sweetness)

75g butter, melted

2 tbsp milk (I used buttermilk)

1 egg

Orange syrup:

½ cup orange juice

½ cup castor sugar

2 tablespoon grated orange rind


  1. Preheat oven to 160C. Place flour, almond meal, baking powder, sugar and dates in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Add butter and milk and egg. Mix to combine, Spoon mixture into greased muffin cases (1 cup capacity). Bake for 25 mins or until cooked when tested.
  3. Meanwhile, make the syrup: Place sugar, orange juice and rind in a sauce pan and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5-7 mins or until slightly thickened. Spoon warm syrup over warm cake and serve with double cream.


This week WHB is hosted by Pookah of What's Cooking in Carolina. Pls check out her website for the round-up.



Angie 1:48 AM  

Anh, a lovely post, and for a very meaningful cause :)

Barbara 10:19 AM  

THey look delicious Ahn. Another brilliant Donna recipe!

Precious Moments 1:53 PM  

The true spirit of Christmas. Wonderful.

Anna 9:49 PM  

that candied orange rind looks beautiful!!!

gattina 9:58 PM  

Glorious colors in the photo!
I think you pick one of the best fruit, orange is so energetic and warm!

Lakshmi 2:15 AM  

looks so delicious and nice photos Nandita

Becky 2:44 AM  

These cakes look really great - I just might have to try them out! I got your comment on my chicken chowder recipe, and I just wanted to let you know that dill weed is the same as regular dill, and you could definitely substitute fresh dill for the dried dill in the recipe!

Kalyn 12:03 PM  

The photos are just fantastic.

WhItE_PoPlAr 5:13 PM  

Angie, Barbara, Edith, Anna, Gattina, Lakshmi & Kalyn, thanks for the compliments!

Becky, thanks for the tips. I may try to cook some chicken chowder when I get back from Sydney. :)

Marianna 11:42 PM  

OMG this is awesome! I wanted to do something with dates + oranges... but didnt know what exactly. I think I am going to try this out, the generous orange rinds is what captured my attention the most! Love it! and your blog!

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