Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Strawberry Orange Frangipane - A Cake that is Easy to bake, Super Moist, Fat Reduced and Nutritionally Balanced

Whether you are health conscious or even a health freak or not, I'm sure everyone has a soft spot for some unhealthy food somehow. Unhealthy food? Food that are high in salt, sugar, fat and empty calories... like chips, crackers, cakes, puddings, desserts, chocolate and cookies... Food with BAD preservatives and artificial colourings and additives like bacons, hot dogs, ham, sausages, lollies and fizzy drinks...


Whenever I stop my son from eating any so-called unhealthy food, he will show me a sad face with his droopy bottom lip.

"...but Mum, these are too yummy." Then followed by a series of comments like... "You are too boring." "I want to eat because I'm so hungry." "You can't stop me because you like them too!" etc etc etc... I guess this is our human nature. Can't deny the fact that we will give any kind of excuses to eat the food that we want to eat. Hmmm...

To satisfy our craving for comforting food, I'm constantly looking for recipes that can create food with a different perspective. Recipes that use fresh and healthy ingredients to transform the so-called unhealthy food into nutritionally balanced treats that we would desire!

Thanks to this book, Quick. Easy. Healthy. Good Food Every Day by Callum Hann and Themis Chryssidis, I have found one recipe that is really GOOD! Good because it can bake this strawberry orange frangipane cake that is easy to bake, super moist and tasty to eat and nutritionally balanced for our health.

strawberry orange frangipane
Strawberry Orange Frangipane

Frangipane? It is a cake or sweet pie filling that is made with almonds. Yes that I have to inform you that this is a frangipane but not the usual frangipane that is fully loaded with butter and sugar. Instead this recipe uses mostly ground almond and the low fat and protein rich yogurt to create a guilt free, yet moist and delicious cake base. Sounds good? Best of all, it is really easy to bake...

Step 1: Preheat oven to 170°C / 325°F and grease one 20 cm or ten mini 5 cm diameter springform / loose bottom cake tin.

Step 2: Spread a layer of 135g (1 1/3 cup) ground almond (almond meal) on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 7-8 mins or fragrant and allow it to cool to room temperature. Please note this step is totally optional and it is not found in the original recipe. I just like to do this to minimise the raw-ish taste of the almond in my cake :)

You see here that this cake is mostly made of ground almond.

Step 3: Wash, hull and cut 250g strawberries into halves. The original recipe uses 4 rhubarb stalks cut into 3 cm pieces and says that we can use either strawberries or blueberries instead of rhubarb.

Step 4: Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment or a wooden spoon, beat 50g butter (softened at room temperature), 60g (1/2 cup) icing sugar and finely grated zest of 1 large orange or 2 small oranges until light and fluffy.

There is no much butter in this batter and so it's not tedious to use a wooden spoon to do the mixing.

Step 5: Beat in 2 large eggs, one at a time or bit by bit.

Mix mix mix...

Step 6: Stir in 190g Greek Style yogurt. The book says that it's ok to use the low fat ones but I'm the regular one with 10% fat.

This is the yogurt that I used.

Step 7: Using a spoon, fold in 35g all purpose flour (sifted) and all of the pre-roasted and cooled ground almond.

If you wish to make this cake into gluten free, you can substitute the plain flour with gluten free plain flour or 35g extra almond meal. I like to stick to the addition of flour as the presence of gluten will give the a nice bouncy texture.

Step 8: Spoon mixture into the prepared tin and use a spatula to flatten out the batter. Arrange the fruit pieces on top of the batter and bake for 25-30 mins until an inserted skewer comes out clean. As this is a moist batter, my mini cakes took the same 30 mins to bake too!

These cakes look so YUM!!!

Step 9: Remove from the oven, brush with honey and leave to cool in the tin.

I must say that this step is pretty essential as it makes the cakes looking real good and make the fruits taste less tart.

All done!!! This is indeed a real quick, easy and healthy recipe!

I love these cakes!!!
And I hope that you will like them too :)
strawberry orange frangipane
Notice that there is no baking powder used in this recipe?
I have double-checked it a million times and million times sure that there should be NO baking powder in it.
Hence, you know that this is the not fluffy kind of cake and yet it is so moist and tasty.

Me happy that I have baked these comforting cakes to satisfy our sweet cravings with no excuses and no worries? Yes, I am. My junk-food-loving son ate these cakes but didn't say that he is madly in love with these... LOL! Well, I guess this is a classic case of you need two hands to clap... Does my son need to be educated further to love eating healthy food? Or are all desirable cakes supposed to be loaded with fat and sugar? Hmmm... I like these so-called healthy cakes. Do you?

This recipe originates from the book, Quick. Easy. Healthy. Good Food Every Day
by Callum Hann, runner-up of MasterChef Australia series 2 and his friend, Themis Chryssidis.
As mentioned in my review before at here, more than 70 recipes in this book are divided into seasons.
And this Strawberry Orange Frangipane is one of the winter recipes.
I feel good knowing these cakes are not excessively loaded with fat and sugar and are high in their protein and fiber content.
More comforting recipes to cook for winter?
There are heaps including this that I would love to cook for my salmon-loving son.

Then what's next? For Spring, I love to cook these ...

Wow! I can imagine this coconut-poached chicken must be very moist and flavoursome!
This recipe says that it can make these super moist and zesty friands. Yummy... Must try! Must try!

I can't wait for the arrival of Spring so that I can fill my shopping bags with the seasonal asparagus, peas, strawberries and mangoes. Do you know what to shop for every season? A healthy shopping list is also mentioned in the beginning of every chapter in this book.

Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, I know that my family and I will eat well with the help of this healthy good food cookbook and like to recommend this fantastic book to you. Want to know more? See here for my previous review.

This book is available now in most retail or online book shops selling at the retail price of AUD$39.99. As this post is specially written to review this book, I'm sorry that I have agreed to the publisher that I can't publish the recipes in this book in this post. However, if you really wish to bake this strawberry orange frangipane cake, please read my post in details, you will see that you can actually do it without a written recipe as I have fully illustrated the process very thoroughly to you. *Hint*

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.

Happy Baking
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  1. Hi Zoe,
    Thanks for sharing this low fat healthy cake. I'm sure guilt free to have few at a go for me ^-^!

  2. Zoe, frangipane is so delicious! I do love your mini cakes!

  3. I can almost smell the orange. Looka so cute n delicious

  4. Mmmm, frangipane. Good stuff. And this looks terrific -- I'd be disappointed if you took THIS away from me, not junk food!

  5. Ooo... wish I can have these for breakfast ! Hmm... salivating.
    Enjoy your day ahead dear.
    Blessings, kristy

  6. I will show you a sad face too, Zoe ..if you tried to stop me..haha! This is a lovely cake that I think would be great with hot tea. :D

  7. You are tempting me with those beauitful and yummy looking cake... I want some