Orange Chocolate Loaf Cake

It’s just been my school holidays so I’ve had the chance to do a lot of baking at the moment. I’ve made all sorts of delicious, sweet treats. Peanut butter Chocolate biscuits, Rock Drops, Caribbean Coconut Cake, and this recipe right here – Orange Chocolate Loaf Cake, which I very much enjoyed. This recipe hails from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook – “Kitchen, it’s sort of a cookbook with all the best recipes from her other cookbooks, so if you own all her others I would recommend that you don’t bother with it, but if you’re new to Nigella, or want to grab a cookbook to try out some of her recipes then I would definitely recommend it to you. It’s packed with all sorts of lovely recipes. Her Coffee and Walnut cake looks gorgeous.

Back to the recipe – After baking the loaf cake I found it to be everything Nigella said it should be in her description. Rich, gungy and light. The kind of cake that you could easily take a bite of between meals. It is also inordinately simple to make, something which is typical of most of Nigella’s recipes. The oranges in it also give a nice, nearly bitter depth of citrus to the cake yet they don’t seem to overshadow the cocoa flavor, despite the small quantity of it stipulated in the recipe. It’s a sort of smoky, deep, spicy resonant flavor that lingers in the background. This making the cake that bit more special. A very suitable recipe for beginner bakers or for people with little time on their hands. Give it a try on your next weekend! You won’t regret it.

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
Serving suggestion –
Pair with a large glass of Drambuie liqueur which would nicely compliment the spicy notes of orange in this cake. Lightly whipped cream would also work nicely; or maybe some marmalade, although I don’t think it needs it.

Recipe – Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
(From the cookbook – “Kitchen”  by Nigella Lawson).

Ingredients –
150g of soft unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
Dab of flavourless vegetable oil, for greasing syrup spoon
2 tbsp of golden syrup
175g of muscovado sugar (dark cane sugar)
150g of plain flour
½ tsp of baking soda
25g of your best quality cocoa powder, sifted
2 eggs, pref. at room temp. and free-range
Zest of 2 oranges and the juice of 1

Method –
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius / 340 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, or line with baking parchment.
Beat the soft butter with the golden syrup – if you dab a little oil onto your measuring spoon with a bit of paper towel then the syrup shouldn’t stick to the spoon, or submerge into very hot water which also works very well – and the sugar until you have a fairly smooth, light coffee cream, though you’ll find that the sugar will always retain a bit of grittiness about it.

Mix the flour, baking soda and cocoa together in a bowl, and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tbsp of these dry ingredients before beating in an egg. Add another couple spoonfuls of dry ingredients and add the second egg, beating well.

Carry on beating in the rest of the dry ingredients and the put, still beating, the orange zest and gradually, the juice. At this stage, the batter may look suddenly look dimpled, as if slightly curdled. No need to panic!

Pour and scrape into your loaf tin and bake it for ¾ of an hour, though check 5 mins before and be prepared to keep it in an extra 5 as well. A cake tester will not come out entirely clean, the point of this cake, light though it may be, is to have just a hint of inner gunge, but not brownie type gunge. Leave to cool a little in its tin on a wire rack then carefully turn out and leave to cool down.

Make ahead note – The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and store in an airtight container. Will keep for 5 days total.

Freeze note –
The cake can be frozen, tightly wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and in a layer of foil for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature.

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