Kara Mallia has been following her culinary dreams for the last decade, working as a private chef based in Tuscany, Italy. Her innate passion for food has found her working for some of the elite, including Benetti luxury yachts, sailing luxury charters around the Mediterranean sea and ports. Over the duration of several years Kara catered many events for The Embassy of Australia in Rome and evolved to being the full time private chef to the Ambassador and his family. Although she has worked in some of the most opulent settings, her down to earth nature is surprisingly refreshing. Her approach to food is filled with enthusiasm to keep things simple, seasonal and of quality. She continues sharing her love and passion for Italian food, traditions and eating rituals, and Kara’s mantra Buona Domenica! (Happy Sunday)".
torta di mandorla e zafferano
"If you want to feel like a Greek goddess, then you need to make this cake. I can imagine Aphrodite mulling around with her friends and enjoying this decadent cake whilst listening to a harpist. Considering she was the goddess associated with love, beauty and pleasure, it is only fitting that I visualise this cake as fitting. This cake evokes all of the above and so much more. It is believed that saffron originated and was first cultivated in Greece, therefore it was only natural that I used this high quality organic saffron. This is the cake that you will want to make if you truly want to pamper your guests".
- 2 medium oranges, chopped (including peel)
- 5 eggs, separated
- Pinch of red saffron threads
- 1/4 of unsweetened original almond milk, for soaking saffron threads
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 2 cups ground raw almonds (grind to a flour consistency in a food processor)
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons sliced or finely chopped/slivered almonds for cake topping
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Line the base and sides of a 22cm cake pan with baking paper.
- Warm the almond milk and soak a good pinch of the saffron threads in the milk for about 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Chop the oranges in quarters and place in a saucepan with one tablespoon of water. Cover and cook on a gentle simmer for 30 minutes or until the oranges are soft and the liquid has evaporated. Remove the oranges from the heat and let cool. When cool, finely blitz the oranges in a food processor.
- Whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually stir in the castor sugar and continue to whisk for about one minute or until a meringue like consistency.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the remaining icing sugar for 2-3 minutes.
- To the egg yolk mixture, whisk in the oranges and then fold in the ground almonds, and saffron with the soaking milk.
- With a large metal spoon, fold in spoonfuls of egg whites until everything is well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, sprinkle with slivered or chopped almonds and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes (or until golden brown). Check every 20 minutes while baking.
- Let the cake cool in the pan before turning out and dusting with icing sugar.
Store in an airtight container for 3 days.