Monday, October 24, 2011

Chocolate Orange Loaf - Nigella Lawson, Kitchen

Theres pretty much no bad time for cake... But Ive been holding out on myself, in an effort to eat less crap and more fruit and veg. But Ive been holding out a while and I caved the other day when I saw a recipe for this chocolate orange cake from Nigella Lawsons most recent book, Kitchen.

I decided that S being at uni all day saturday, chocolate orange being his fave combo AND my efforts to eat more fruit and veg warranted this cake being baked. It DOES have orange in it so dont look at me that way.

The recipe is really easy, and the result is a plain looking cake which some may say needs to be iced. This recipe doesnst give you an icing recipe, so its your call on that one. I find its a good cake to have thats not too heavy or too much. You cant eat cake with icing on it all the time, and if youre going to eat cake more regularly, this is the kind to go for - no icing, but full of flavour, light in texture and keeps well. Its a great cake to make for lunchboxes, bake sales or picnics. Keep it simple.

150g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
2 x 15ml tbsp golden syrup
175g dark muscovado sugar (I used brown)
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
2 eggs
zest 2 oranges and juice of 1 (I only had 1 orange so put in less zest)

1 x 900g (2lb) loaf tin

Preheat the oven to 170oC/150oC fan oven/gas mark 3 and line your loaf tin with baking parchment or a paper loaf-tin liner.

Beat the already soft butter with the syrup and the sugar until you have a fairly smooth caffé Americano cream, though the sugar will always have a bit of grit about it.

Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa powder together, and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tbsp of these dry ingredients before beating in 1 egg. Then add another couple of spoonfuls of the dry ingredients before beating in the second egg. Carry on beating in the remaining dry ingredients and then add, still beating, the orange zest and finally, gradually, the juice.

Pour and scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, though check 5 minutes before and be prepared to keep it in the oven 5 minutes longer if need be. Leave to cool a little in the tin on a wire rack, then turn out with care and leave on the rack to cool.

Please excuse the wire rack marks, they did come out! I just took the pic a bit early...  Would definately make this cake again! Super easy, we always have the stuff for it too... Its your call on the icing, however I did have a delicious jaffa cake from a local cafe which had orange cream cheese icing on it and it was lush!

Easy lunchbox cake!

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