I made a discovery at work, recently, and completely by accident. I was in need of some basic sunflower oil for cooking, and I was drawn to a lovely looking bottle by a Canadian company called Maison Orphee. Once I got it home and opened it, I was delighted to find it had a beautiful sunflower seed aroma. Bear in mind that I have used a lot of sunflower oils in my day and I have never had one that was fragrant like that. Of course I tasted it, and it also has a lovely strong sunflower taste. What a perfect oil for salads or vegetables! Needless to say, I have been using it ever since. I made some cinnamon buns with it and while the dough was deliciously scented with sunflower as it rose, the scent and taste were not noticeable once the buns were baked, perhaps because of the overriding cinnamon flavour.
The other night I decided to make a carrot cake. I gathered a lovely bunch of organic carrots and set some cream cheese out to soften, and opened my precious bottle of sunflower oil.
I was happy to discover that there is a subtle nutty sunflower flavour in the finished cake. I left out any walnuts or pineapple or icky raisins or anything else people dump into carrot cake, so the texture is relatively smooth and the flavour really comes through. Even better is a big thick slice with cream cheese icing and a scattering of fresh raw walnuts on top. Bliss.
Dateline – Toronto
15 hours ago