Posts Tagged ‘orange’

This recipe has gone viral a few months ago and shared several times within the Thermomix Community. I was curious, of course, and jumped on the bandwagon. The cake used the simple Quatre Quarts Cake (literally 4-fourths) recipe which was taught at Domestic Science classes. This cake is quite similar to a typical Victoria sponge and is referred to as Pound Cake.  

By the way, I have made a very similar cake which I have posted in my blog in 2015. I had wanted to use poppy seeds then but I chose the healthier chia seeds instead. You can find out the reason why in this post, Lemon Chia Seeds Sponge Cake.

I had bought a packet of poppy seeds some months back and it had been sitting in my kitchen pantry, untouched, hence this was THE perfect moment for me to make good use of the seeds… Finally!

The Challenge 

The owner of this recipe promised this cake would turn out soft and moist. That’s what fascinated me, especially so when we know that a Quatre Quarts Cake uses 4 ingredients of equal amount (butter, sugar, flour and eggs). The recipe calls for 250 g per ingredient. First off, it sounded heavy, too heavy in fact,  and I was quite hesitant to bake this cake because I usually skip a cake recipe using the entire block of butter and a quarter kilogram of sugar!  Yikes! But I was tempted to proceed because I LOVE oranges and I’m sure nothing would go wrong with a pound cake with orange and poppy seeds!  Ha ha ..

To be very honest, the biggest challenge is beating and blending the ingredients at the right consistency to achieve that moist and fluffy effect. 

Is that attainable with a Thermomix? 

Let’s find out, shall we?

The original recipe was posted by Ellin Chong as per below –

I tried to follow the recipe exactly but ended up modifying some of the steps to my liking and logic. Well, that’s just me 😉

The recipe indicated 30 mins baking time. I thought that was way too short. Was my judgement right?

Here are my modification to some of the steps 

  • I added another cycle of pulverization in (1)  i.e. 2 times MC/ 10 sec/ sp 10 to get the visual consistency I wanted.

  • I increased the time in (2) from 2 mins to 2 mins 45 sec as I thought that would give me ample time to crack the eggs one at a time to mix through the lid hole.

  • I added 15 g of London Dry Gin to give the cake a slightly boozy effect 🙂

  • I sifted the APF with 10 g of baking powder and increased the mixing time from 10 sec to 20 sec.

  • 30 minutes of baking time in my pre-heated oven was definitely too short. The cake was under cooked, i.e. still wet and the crust was too pale for my liking.  

  • I increased the time to another 16 minutes, making the total baking time of 46 minutes in my pre-heated oven at 180 deg C. That was a lot better.

So, was the cake moist and fluffy as promised?

Seeing is Believing!

    My Verdict?

    When I first saw the recipe, I saw the baking time of 30 minutes was too short for a cake as ‘dense’ as a Pound cake. Well, my initial judgment was correct. Perhaps it’s just my oven. If it worked well for the owner of the recipe then it was tested based on the type of oven she owns.

    When I increased the baking time to a total of 46 minutes, the cake turned out visually PERFECT ! I loved the citrusy smell whiffing past my nostrils and my kitchen smelt heavenly. 

    And I definitely prefer a tanned (not charred) cake to a pale looking one. Again, it’s just me.

    Was the cake moist and fluffy? 

    Yes, when it was fresh out of the oven and when still quite warm, like most cakes. When the cake was left to cool completely, I thought it was very lightweight but less moist than when it was warmer. Definitely not dry, but with a pleasant texture. It’s not bouncy either like chiffon cakes, but, hey I LOVED it!

    Some changes I would like to make are (1) reduce the quantity of sugar, as the cake became too sweet the following day(s), (2) increase a little of the poppy seeds, as I like the crunch and the subtle nutty flavour and (3) increase slightly the gin, as I was still trying to trace the aroma … ha ha ha …

    Oh yes, I should have left the cake to cool in the bundt pan and not got it out too soon when it was still hot. That’s why the surface of the cake was not smooth 😦

    Just compare the cakes I have baked using the same cake mould below …

    Nevertheless, this recipe is definitely a keeper but I will not be in a hurry to bake another one in a jiffy. 1 kg of sugar, flour, eggs and butter combined was a humongous amount to consume too often.

    Have a great week!


    When I was a kid, Mum did not cook pumpkins a lot, especially the yellow/orange/red types. The ‘pumpkins’ I was more familiar with were the Asian Squashes, such as bitter melon, chinese okra or angled loofah (ketola), hairy melon or moqua, and chinese winter melon.

    Down Memory Lane

    One day, one of my Aunts (Mum’s eldest sis) who was staying with us briefly, cooked a pot of pumpkin dish in my Mum’s kitchen. The pumpkin was cut in square-ish chunks, cooked with dried anchovies and shallots and seasoned with white pepper and salt. I remembered being served a plate of rice with the pumpkin dish and one whole fried fish. There were 5 identical plates served on the long rectangular table for us 5 siblings then. Mum was in confinement with her 6th and last, hence my Aunt was given the role of Nanny.

    The 5 of us were seated orderly at the table. As soon as we finished our meal, we were free to leave the table. After a few minutes, the first one left, then the second and the third and fourth. The 5th remained….20, 30, 45 minutes… On her plate was a small amount of rice with the chunks of pumpkin left untouched or pretty much, untouched, while the fried fish was a bony structure, ie all gone. Tick Tock, Tick, Tock…. the 5th was still at the table. Her dinner plate was as cold as ever. Two beady eyes were watching from right oppposite the table. There was no escape. The 5th just could not get the pumpkin dish down her throat. She felt like puking from each single bite. It was sheer agony. Unfortunately, “Nanny Beady Eyes” did not allow the 5th to go scot-free. The end result? The 5th was ‘forcefully’ spoonfed until she gave in with tears rolling down her cheeks ….


    By the way, “Nanny Beady Eyes” was not a bad Aunt at all. She had cooked fabulous dishes for us kids. That one dish just did not appeal to one child and that child happened to be moi !!!!! Oh… how I detested pumpkins from then on!

    >>> Fastforward >>>  I was in Belgium at my MIL’s house. It was a cold and wet Autumn day. We gathered at the dinner table and there was this bowl of brilliant orange soup. It was so tasty and creamy and bang on the money. I was drooling for my second bowl. YUM!

    And guess what I had eaten at my MIL’s? 

    Yup, pumpkin, of course, but served differently. I have gone 180 degrees because I have begun to LOVE pumpkins! I have cooked countless pumpkin soups since then, pumpkin curries, pumpkin gratin and even pumpkin jam and roasted pumpkin seeds (Recipes Here and Here)!

    And the star of today’s post is Ms Chestnut Pumpkin. Love her lots *wink*

    And by the way, this pumpkin did not cost me more than a Euro! It was darn cheap at only 89 Euro cents!!


    I have made this soup innumerable times and it has always been a hit with my guys. 

    With the cold and wet Autumn weather at hand, a bowl of hot and tasty soup is always welcome 😉

    Here’s my favourite. Simple, healthy and hassle-free recipe with ingredients you can get easily. 


    • 1 small chestnut pumpkin, skinned
    • 4 stalks celery
    • 1 onion, peeled 
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 potato, washed and peeled
    • 2 Tbsp vegetable stock paste (homemade)
    • Coarse sea salt and black peppercorns, ground, to taste
    • Meatballs (optional)
    • A pinch of curry powder, to taste
    • Water
    • Light cream, to drizzle 
    • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnishing)

     Method –

    • Cut the skinned chestnut pumpkin in 2 halves. Remove the seeds. Roughly chop.
    • Remove the stringy layer of the celery stalks, wash and roughly chop
    • Roughly chop the onion and potato 
    • Throw all chopped ingredients in a soup pot. Add in the 3 cloves of garlic 
    • Add 1.8l water. Boil until the vegetables have softened. Remove the pot from the stove.
    • With a hand mixer, blend the veg to a smooth consistency. Add in the veg stock, ground salt and pepper and blend to combine
    • Place the soup pot back on the stove to heat the soup
    • If you want meatballs in your soup, this is the time to throw them in ( either store-bought or freshly made). For vegetarian version, omit the meatballs
    • Heat the soup until the meatballs float to the surface 
    • Serve hot with drizzles of light cream and chopped parsley. I have tried my best to make a design of a cobweb. Not quite there yet…

    Amazingly, with a different angle, room and light, my chestnut pumpkin soup blushed 😊

    Trick or Treat?

    With Halloween round the corner, this soup makes a healthy and wholesome treat. Not a drop of oil or butter was used in this recipe. 

    My nostalgic Pumpkin Soup. YUM!


    Without much ado, I’m linking this post to the following blog-hop cooking challenges –

    October Tea Time Treats: Halloween & Bonfire Night Treats hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Jane from The Hedgecombers
    Cooking with Herbs for Autumn hosted by Karen of Lavender and Lovage 

    A2K’s Vegetable Palette for the month of October: The colour ORANGE, hosted by Shaheen

    in advance!