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As part of an ongoing campaign to get my children to eat healthily and use up every wierd and wonderful offering that my vegbox delivery throws up I have introduced a new policy in the Country Gate kitchen. No cake – unless it contains at least one fruit or vegetable. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis will know of my extreme sneakiness in getting St Clement’s muffins (with grated butternut squash) past the entire family. However I was wracked by guilt ; so now I am upfront in my veggie confectionary.

Last week’s box contained a few blood oranges. Usually I juice these but I thought they might make a particularly pretty cake. And guess what – I was right! Blood oranges are packed with vitamin C, folic acid and all sorts of goodies. Juicing them is the very best way to enjoy their fabulousness but sometimes only cake will do.

Here’s how.

Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 22cm spring-clip tin with baking paper.

Separate six large free-range eggs, putting yolks in one large mixing bowl and whites in another. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Add 175g caster sugar and the finely grated zest of 2 blood oranges to the yolks  and beat with an electric mixer until mousse-like. This takes about 3 mins.

Stir in 100g ground almond with a metal spoon. Then add the stiff egg whites in three batches, folding in with a metal spoon. Stir in 75g flaked almonds  the last batch.

Spoon into the tin and bake for 45 mins or until the sponge is golden brown and springy when lightly pressed.

While the sponge is baking, make an orange syrup by combining 100g caster sugar with the juice of 4 blood oranges. Heat gently, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 mins.

As soon as the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and place, still in its tin onto a large plate. Run a palette knife round the edge to loosen. Prick the cake all over with a skewer and spoon the hot syrup over the cake, reserving 2 tablespoons.

When ready to serve, remove from the tin and decorate the top with 1 blood orange, peeled and thinly sliced. Spoon the resrved liquid over the top.

This cake can be kept well covered in a cool place (but not a fridge) for 24 hours. Serve at room temperature.

And the verdict was a general thumbs up but the rest of the family would prefer a more traditional sponge. I’m going to make another using  flour and butter and fewer eggs to see if they prefer it. That’s if I can find a few blood oranges. Though I expect it will be equally yumsome with any oranges.

This week’s vegbox connundrum is beetroot – but I’m thinking chutney for this. There are only so many beetroot brownies one can take.

And another thing………any leftovers makes the perfect base for a trifle the following  day.  Drizzle a drop of orange liqueur over it and sprinkle with some chopped bananas and away you go.