Sicilian Orange Cake

This recipe for Sicilian Orange Cake comes from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escape Cookbook. He, in turn, got it from Jill Dupleix’s column in The Times where she describes it as “the richest, moistest, butteriest and yet lightest orange cake in the world”.

With a description like that, the recipe is definitely worth a try. And try we did, using blood oranges rather than the normal oranges. The verdict? Absolutely and utterly delicious. Light, moist, soft and perfect with a cup of tea.

Perfect to make for mum this Sunday on Mothers Day!

Sicilian orange cake

Serves about 8

250g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing

250g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

1½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest

250g self-raising flour

85ml freshly squeezed orange juice

For the icing:

125g icing sugar

5 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Grease and line a 22cm clip-sided round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.

2. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until very pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one, if necessary adding a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. Beat in the orange zest. Add the flour all at once and mix in well, then slowly mix in the orange juice. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.

3. Leave the cake, in its tin, to cool on a wire rack, then carefully remove the sides and base of the tin and peel off the paper. Put it onto a serving plate.

4. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the orange juice until you have a spreadable consistency. Spread it over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, and leave to set. Serve cut into slices.


Founder, Meera Shah, interviewed for Local Business Week 2011

Meera, the founder of redapple, was interviewed by a media company last Friday. As the founder of a dynamic small business, they wanted her views on the role of small and local businesses in the community. The video is to be aired as part of Local Business Week 2011 from today (21st March) to 27th March.

Here’s a sneaky behind the scenes picture of the interview taking place. We’ll post the video clip on the blog soon, but until then you can see it here:

From field to fork in 24 hours

We’re very proud to source our produce from New Covent Garden Market. This is where all the top London restaurants source their produce. But now, these fancy restaurants aren’t the only place you can enjoy this fresh produce. You can have it delivered to your home.

Cauliflowers: from field to fork in 24 hours. You can’t get much fresher than that!

Video credit: New Covent Garden Market You Tube Channel

Has Del Monte packaging gone bananas?

Del Monte has recently come under fire over their plans to sell individually wrapped bananas in gyms, petrol stations, leisure centres and corner shops around the UK. Yes, you heard right – each banana will be wrapped in its own plastic packaging! The price of these bananas have not been released yet but the $1 a banana price, about 62p, in the US probably serves as a good indication. In all likelihood, the price will probably be significantly higher than the average price of 15p a loose banana costs.

Why has Del Monte done this? For ‘green’ reasons they claim. Responding to customer outrage on their facebook page, the company has a ‘cut and paste’ spiel that places this move in the context of their CSR initiatives.

Their official press release has a similar story. They paradoxically tout this move as part of their eco measures – they claim that the plastic packaging apparently increases the shelf life of the banana by controlling the ripening process which in turns reduces wastage.

But, surely customers are buying bananas from these locations to snack on immediately?

More importantly, as marketing specialist Keith Young states, bananas are one of the best examples of brilliant natural packaging. They have a unique shape and bright colour that creates a strong brand identity that many other brands aspire to create. They are easy to hold, easy to open and easy to dispose of. And, the outer packaging that contains the banana is completely bio-degradable. What more could you want?

Councils spend more than £600m in taxes annually to send waste to landfill. Awareness of this problem has increased the amount of waste that we now recycle. The next step is to prevent unnecessary packaging which forms a large part of household waste, getting through the door in the first place. But, adding extra packaging to produce that doesn’t need it seems to be not just one but several steps backwards.

A cynic could say this move by Del Monte is little more than an attempt to ‘re-brand’ the banana thereby allowing them to charge a premium price. Big corporates made decisions based on economics and profit. However, what is strange and unconvincing is their attempt to label this move as a ‘green initiative’!

Do you think Del Monte have gone bananas? Can you think of a crazier idea than wrapping bananas in plastic packaging? A paper umbrella perhaps…

redapple bags arrive at redapple HQ

Our redapple bags have finally arrived at redapple HQ – and just in time for our first deliveries!

The DHL man said “I’m so glad you’re in”. We said “We’re so glad you’ve arrived with our parcels!” Thereafter, there was an exchange of hundreds of bags for a signature or two. Fair trade we think!

Here are some pics of our bags. What do you think? We spent ages designing them and we’re so proud of them… can you tell?! 🙂

Could you eat 5 kilos of raw food everyday?

Had we (i.e. humans) not discovered cooking, it is estimated that we would need to eat 5 kilos of raw fruit and veg every single day to get enough calories to survive.

Can you imagine how many hours it would take to chew your way through that?!

If this realisation has piqued your curiosity, read the aptly titled “Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human”. In this book, Harvard Professor Richard Wrangham explores the impact that the discovery of cooking has had on the evolution of the human species. All rather interesting we say.







If you’ve read the book, let us know!

Leafy-let (greens) and seasonal calendars

Excitement is bubbling away here at Red Apple HQ!

We’ve received our leaflets from the printers. You should have seen us tear the packages open – it was like Xmas came early!

Being uber-enthusiastic, we’ve even started giving them out. Ricky is head redapple at the moment. He definitely has a way with the ladies (or its just that they like what redapple does – but don’t tell him that as his ego’s been nicely stoked!)…

Because we thought the redapple leaflets should also be a little useful, we even designed a lovely eye-catching seasonality calendar. It would look perfect on the fridge or kitchen door!






















What do you think? Leave us a comment as we’d love to hear any feedback!

Until next time. Fruity wishes, from redapple HQ