Orange and White Chocolate Loaf Cake

No matter what I decide to bake, it always seems that I never have the appropriate sized baking tin! I’ve been meaning to buy a loaf tin for years and stupidly ordered one online that was far too small for me to even bother with… I mean loaf cakes should never be small now, should they?! When I saw this Orange and White Chocolate Loaf Cake, I was once again left with a tin conundrum, but went ahead and baked it in my brownie tin anyway. Such a rebel. I know it didn’t quite get the rise it should have, but my guess is that it still tasted just as amazing.

I’m usually quite partial to a bit a lot of dark chocolate baking, but Alex isn’t quite so keen on eating much of the rich dark chocolate goodness that I churn out, so there really is no point in me baking it… That is unless I want to increase in size tenfold! So, in a bid to bake more that he’ll like, I have recently  been trying out some white chocolate recipes – He definitely hasn’t had a problem with those and this Orange and White Chocolate Loaf (or not quite so loaf) Cake seemed to go down pretty well.

I’m trying to make an effort to actually make some of the magazine recipes that I tear out and pile high in the kitchen. They usually gather dust and then end up in the bin, years later, but this one was spotted in a recent Grazia magazine and is by Ruby Tandoh who appeared in The Great British Bake Off. There are also some tasty looking Dark Choclate Orange Bourbons, which I might just have to make for myself one day…

Enjoy!

 

Orange and White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Orange and White Chocolate Loaf Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:
150g butter, soft
150g caster sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of ½ lemon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
225g plain flour, plus a little extra
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
75ml milk
150g white chocolate chips, or block chopped into small chunks
For the syrup:
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
50g caster sugar
To decorate:
50-100g white chocolate
2lb (900g) loaf tin / or a brownie ti if you can't find one ;)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas mark 3-4. Grease and line the loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (this takes some elbow grease or a food processor). Beat in the zests and gradually add the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, then gently fold this into the butter and egg mixture. Stir in the milk.
  3. Make sure that the white chocolate is in quite small chunks – about 5mm cubes – if chopping it yourself. Toss the chocolate chunks/chips in a couple of tablespoons of extra flour to help ensure that they don’t sink straight to the bottom of the tin. Stir the chocolate into the batter.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin, smooth over, and bake for about 50mins. When ready, a knife inserted into the middle of the cake should come out with only a few crumbs sticking to it. If using a different shaped tin you may need to check the cake after 30 minutes.
  5. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup by gently heating the orange and lemon juices in a saucepan, and then stirring in the sugar until dissolved. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, pierce all over with a small, sharp knife, cocktail stick or skewer, and spoon the syrup over – you may not need to use all of it, but do be generous. Leave the cake to cool in the tin then remove it.
  6. Heat the white chocolate for the drizzle in 10 second bursts in the microwave, or in a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, stirring regularly. Drizzle over the top of the cake, using either a spoon or piping bag.

 

 

 

 

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake was never actually very high on my list of cake must-haves until a few years ago. This was mainly due to the fact that I’d only ever tasted shop bought cake and it never quite hit the spot – Often being far too dry and lacking in flavour.

When I first made carrot cake at home, I headed straight for the Hummingbird Bakery recipe book and have never looked back. Everyone I bake this for loves it (head swell) and I have to say it is one of my all time favourites. It’s remarkably easy to make, deliciously moist and oh. So. Very. BIG!

You can play around a bit with the flavours and add more (or less) cinnamon or ginger to suit your taste, or maybe even add a little nutmeg and ground cloves to the mix. If you are allergic to nuts, then simply leave the walnuts out… I prefer it with though, for that little bit of crunch. If you want to feel like you are being a little healthier, then simply make it without the cream cheese frosting. Not quite sure why you would want to do that!

I have to admit that this is the only carrot cake recipe that I have ever baked at home. I’ve been resisting using another recipe for fear of it not living up to the Hummingbirds, but I plan to change that very soon – I’d hate to be missing out on something that may be that little bit more divine!

Have you got the ultimate carrot cake recipe for me to test out? I’m up for the challenge.

I used 8inch cake tins, but have since used this recipe in muffin cases and it has worked every time.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

300g Soft Light Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
300ml Sunflower Oil
300g Plain Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus extra to decorate
½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Carrots, grated
100g Shelled Walnuts, chopped, plus extra, chopped and whole, to decorate
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For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
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300g Icing Sugar, sifted
50g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
125g Cream Cheese, cold

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
  2. Put the sugar, eggs and oil in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated (don’t worry if the mixture looks slightly split). Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and vanilla extract and continue to beat until well mixed.
  3. Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand until they are all evenly dispersed. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
  5. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed.
  6. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
  7. When the cakes are cold, put one on a cake stand and spread about one-quarter of the Cream Cheese Frosting over it with a palette knife. Place a second cake on top and spread another quarter of the frosting over it.
  8. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Finish with walnuts and a light sprinkling of cinnamon.

 

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Red Velvet Cake – With A Twist

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t done any baking for ages. In fact, thinking about it, I haven’t actually made any cupcakes for well over 12 months. When we moved into our flat last October the oven was not left in the best state and we may or may not have been a tad bit useless at fixing it. We did try a few times, but managed to set it on fire during the process!

Don’t get me wrong, we have been eating, but we’ve been using a combination microwave to cook in all this time… I can’t actually believe we’ve been using it for so long! We have easily cooked roasts and all sorts of other meals in it – Just not cakes.

Anyway, it is now in satisfactory working order (just in time for us to move out), so I thought I’d get back into a spot of baking before we buy a house with no working kitchen!

This Harry Eastwood red velvet cake recipe was as easy to make as any other and tastes just as enjoyable, even though it contains beetroot and not an ounce of butter.  I think if I were to make it again I’d replace the Nutella with my own chocolate frosting, as it seems a tad too nutty for my personal taste, but other than that it goes down a treat. Definitely worth the effort, especially if you are wheat intolerant as it contains rice flour.

Note that my icing does not look as fluffy as it should… Someone (me) used the whole egg rather than just the white for the icing – Big OOPS, but I was too tired to make it all again!

Click below images to enlarge & print if you wish to make this delicious cake – Or Buy a copy of  Harry Eastwood‘s Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache for more lovely ‘feel-good natural cake’ recipes.

Snow Meringue Icing

Coconut, Lime And Blueberry Slice

My baking cupboard has been made pretty much redundant these days. Baking for anything other special occasions got to be a bit of a chore as I couldn’t always tuck in to the cakes due to my wheat intolerance. It kind of upset me to see Alex eating twelve cupcakes all on his own (or taking them away to anyone that would have them) and If I can’t eat them then where’s the fun in that? Actually, the real truth is that Alex was starting to get a bit of a pot belly because I was baking more than he could keep up with and I think even he was feeling there was a bit of cake overkill in his life.

I have never really looked into baking cakes without wheat flour. I’ve tasted a few shop bought one’s (which weren’t great) but as it’s only me in my circle that has this rather annoying problem I never really thought the others around me should miss out on the good stuff.

Someone recently loaned me a copy of Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache by Harry Eastwood. It’s a cake book with a difference. For one there are plenty of recipes containing rice flour rather than wheat. Hurrah! Another difference to my usual cake recipes is that the majority of them contain vegetables such as aubergine, beetroot, courgette, butternut squash and even my dreaded worst enemy swede!

The book is lovingly written and is a joy to look through, so last night I decided to venture into the world of baking for myself once again. First up – Coconut, Lime And Blueberry Slice.

I chose this recipe because I love the way that blueberries just burst in your mouth and provide a lovely juicy taste when baked. The down side to this one though is that it contains quite a lot more sugar than I’d usually use but I’d like to think that the goodness in the courgettes and blueberries might sort of cancel out that badness… A girl can dream.

The only problem I had whilst cooking was that I took the coconut base out of the oven too soon. Coconut can burn quite quickly and I took mine out in half of the time that the book suggested as it was looking like it was heading that way. This resulted in the base being not quite hard enough and a lot of it broke away on cutting.

Anyway, it tasted delicious and I personally didn’t even notice the courgette (another of my vegetable baddies). I’m looking forward to trying out some more recipes from the book and who knows I may even go as far as trying the one with Swede in it… But probably not.

The Base

The making of the sponge

Sponge mixture on base and back into the oven with it…

The results…

Afternoon tea at 10pm – Hence the picture blur! (Must try harder)

THE RECIPE – Lovingly typed up word for word by me as it’s nowhere else online – I expect you to use it.

Coconut, Lime And Blueberry Slice:

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 9:

FOR THE BASE:

80g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
150g desiccated coconut

FOR THE SPONGE:

2 medium free range eggs
150g caster sugar
150g topped, tailed peeled and finely grated courgette
zest and juice of 2 whole limes
120g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt,
200g blueberries

FOR THE TOP:

A little icing sugar

YOU WILL NEED:

A 22cm x 5cm deep brownie tin.
THE FUN BIT:

1. Preheat the over to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line the base of the tin with parchment and brush this and the sides with a little vegetable oil.

2. To make the base, slowley heat the sugar, butter and salt in a saucepan. within a few minutes the butter would have melted
and there will be a sweet paste in the pan. Put the coconut in a large mixing bowl, yip the paste over it and fold together with a palette knife. Treating the mixture like shortcrust pastry, finish combining it with your fingertips. Don’t worry if it appears flecked, this will right itself in the oven.

3. Pat the mixture into the tin with a spatula and place it int he over for 15 minutes. This should give you just the right amount of time to go ahead with making the sponge, but always keep a keen eye on it as coconut and sugar love to burn.

4. To make the sponge, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and pale. Add the grated courgette and lime zest and beat until fully incorporated.

5. Remove the base from the oven and pour the sponge mixture over it, before scattering the blueberries over the top. Cook for a further 30 minutes in the middle of the oven.

6. Once cooked, cool in its tin for 10 minutes. Sieve the icing sugar over the top and cut the cake inside the tin before serving.
The cake is gorgeous either on its own or served with a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream

Enjoy x