I sometimes get the weirdest looks for saying this, but it’s true: I love the cold. To me, cold days are perfect for staying in, baking, watching TV under the covers... So good!
My mom was from Santa Catarina – in the South of Brazil - and I spent many vacations there as a little girl. My favorite time of the year there was in the middle of the winter, in July – my aunts used to prepare delicious treats and (very) hot chocolate for me and my brother. Some days were so freezing that my mom did not let us play outside, but I didn’t mind: I loved writing and playing school with my imaginary “students” – I was always the teacher, of course. :D
I saw these cakes and they screamed “fall” – perfect to celebrate my second favorite season.
Little couscous cakes
from Little Cafe Cakes
¼ cup (60ml) rum or brandy
½ cup (120ml) olive oil
finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 cup (180g) couscous
¾ cup (150g) sugar
½ cup (70g) flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (82g) dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 170ºC/338ºF. Grease and flour 12 individual cake or muffin pans or one 20cm springform pan.
In a saucepan heat rum or brandy with oil, orange zest and juice. Place couscous in a bowl and pour over hot liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff up couscous with a fork.
Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. Stir this mixture into couscous along with remaining dry ingredients and cranberries.
Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes or until cakes spring back when touched.
Makes 12 – I halved the recipe and got 9 (my pans hold 1/3 cup batter each)