What a year! It’s my birthday again already?? Somebody explained to me the idea that time speeds up exponentially as we grow older. It feels realer and realer as i get older. From age 1 to 2, our age doubles all in a year, but as we get older, the space-time jump shortens, i.e when we turn 15 to 16 we take a 15/16th step in our lifespan over a year. So yes, the years do seem shorter as we grow older.

It must be my crazy but I always find myself reflecting on what I would like to strive towards in the next year of my existence. Here is the little list I came up with for this year:

1) Be nicer to people, in particular the ones close to me (who I tend to take for granted)
2) Call people rather than texting (I am a notorious texter)
3) Stop giggling when people say things like ‘wind’ or anything to do with farts
4) Improve my French… and Mandarin, but my grandma is trying her best with that
5) Quit being afraid when home alone at night (but I swear the boogie man DOES live in my spare room… how old am I again?)
6) Don’t freak out when I have a big workload
7) Surf more, play more cello… oh and stop panicking at the dentist.

I must be a big ball ‘o crazy, but that’s how I do.

Here’s a recipe for a scrumptious cake I conjured up a few hours before my birthday dinner. It was decadent yet light, and the simple flavours came across without being overpowering.


Flourless White Chocolate & Burnt Orange Cake

You will need:
250g good quality white chocolate (check the ingredients for nasties, the quality of the chocolate has a huge effect on the overall taste)
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed (I use grassfed butter)
3 tbsp almond meal
5 large eggs at room temperature (free range please)
1 tbsp vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste
1 large navel / valencia / blood orange, zested then sliced into 1-2mm discs
raw sugar
1 tsp fleur de sel (or if you can’t get any, coarse sea salt)

flaked almonds
icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C, then grease and line a 10″ round springform tin. Breaking the chocolate up into small pieces and placing them in a large glass bowl with the butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, but make sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Stir constantly until the chocolate and butter has melted. Take the bowl off the saucepan and turn off the heat. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Separate the eggs and pour the whites into a large mixing bowl for beating. There cannot be any yolk or grease contacting the whites, or else they won’t whip. Whisk the yolks, one at a time, into the white chocolate, then add the vanilla, zest, and almond meal. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, keeping an eye not to over whip. Mix 1/3 of the egg white into the white chocolate. With a large spoon, fold in the next third of egg white, followed by the final third. Try to combine everything well whilst keeping as much air in the mixture. Finally, fold in the fleur de sel before pouring into the cake tin. Slide onto the middle rack in the oven, and bake for 40-45 mins. If the top browns, place a piece of foil on top of the cake. Meanwhile, sprinkle a raw sugar and pepper onto the orange slices. Heat a griddle pan on a medium to high heat, and lay on your orange slices. Don’t move them around until they have nice grill marks (a minute or two), then flip to char the other side. Cool on a wire rack. To test the doneness of the cake, insert a skewer into the middle and it should come out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 mins, then release the springform and slide onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

To serve, scatter almond flakes all over the cake, then dust with icing sugar. You can do this by spooning it into a sieve and lightly shaking it over the cake. Transfer onto your serving dish, then arrange the burnt orange on top of the cake.

Share this article