African sunsets go on forever; the sun drops behind the horizon quickly, then melts the sky into a full hour of magnificence. Considering there are no buildings to block the view, hundreds of miles of horizon can (and do) glow every night.
Our 12-seater landed on a tiny airstrip in Botswana (fellow traveler “the other Patti” made this shot worth keeping). We took a 400 meter hike through Kalahari sand to water’s edge, cleared immigration under a military tent, visited the bush for a comfort stop (I’ll write more about THIS adventure soon), then boarded a small boat to putter up the Kwandu River for an hour to our second lodge of this vacation, the Lianshulu, on Botswana soil. Across the river was Namibia.That afternoon’s tea featured a pretty Orange Blossom Cake which we devoured, then hopped back onto our boat to chug along looking at birds, ellies, hippos before… BAM, this sunset, the color of our cake. That’s also when tiny bell frogs (Larry called them “pipe bomb frogs”) start a huge sound like CLING, CLING, CLING (hammer on a pipe). Walks back to our chateaus after dinner in the pitch dark were always escorted in the inevitable event that a game animal would suddenly appear. One particular A.M., Larry and I stayed trapped in our room with stomachs growling for breakfast as a moody pacaderm wouldn’t let us leave (photo, below, is from the bathroom). 30 minutes and several experienced men got him to meander enough for us to sneak out in another direction. YEA, coffee!
Here is more on the vacation: Eating on an African Safari. At the bottom of the post is contact info on the tour.
Here is the cake recipe, provided by Lianshulu Lodge director, Debs. NOTE: I have NOT baked it yet myself and neglected to read the recipe until returning home, so am guessing at the oven temp AND cake pan. By the looks of the cake, the pan was 10-in and at least 2 in deep, a size I don’t have. When I bake this myself, I’ll try a bundt pan; the cake was very dense and probably will do well.
ORANGE BLOSSOM (“Namibia Sunset”) CAKE
- 250 g butter (1 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- 2 cups caster sugar (a superfine texture of sugar)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup self-rising flour
- 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
- Orange segments for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Spray a cake pan (10 inch x 2 inch deep or bundt pan) with non-stick spray (I added this part, seriously doubt kitchens out in the African bush have such a product).
Beat together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in half the flour, then the remaining flour until smooth. Stir in orange rind. Spread into pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.