Orange, Butternut and Poppy Seed Loaf
Wheat free, gluten free and dairy free Makes 1 loaf, serves 4-6
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 450g loaf tin with coconut oil and line with baking parchment. Sift together 70g rice flour, 20g finely ground oats, 65g ground almonds, 1tsp baking powder, 1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda and 1/8tsp Xantham gum and set aside.
Peel and coarsely grate half a butternut squash. Weigh out 150g and scatter over the zests or one large orange and half a lemon, 1tbsp lemon juice and 1tbsp poppy seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs and 85g golden caster sugar until thick and doubled in volume. Gently fold in the butternut mixture, followed by the dry ingredients, then leave for 10 mins.
Scrape the batter into the tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 40 mins, or until the top springs back when pressed and an inserted skewer or cocktail stick comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the icing, sift 120g icing sugar into a bowl, add 1tsp poppy seeds and enough lemon and orange juice to form the thickness of double cream. Pour the icing over the cake and leave for a few mins before decorating with candied orange slices.
To make the candied orange slices place 225g golden caster sugar and 150ml water into pan and heat to dissolve, and bring the syrup just to the boil. Add a halved unwaxed orange, cut into slices approx. 3-4mm each. Simmer for 45 mins or until the orange slices are translucent. Remove from the heat and allow the fruit to cool in the pan. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for at least 24 hours before using (so the orange slices can absorb the syrup).