It has been several months since I last baked a chocolate cake! The crave for a simple chocolate cake leads me to this delightful light and orangy fragrant cake from Nigella Lawson, recipe taken from her book Nigella Kitchen. I have four of her books and the Kitchen makes it my top favourite.
This is the kinda cake that is wonderful as a breakfast treat. A slice or two would be lovely for tea-time snack. And this is just the type of cake that while sitting on the kitchen counter or dining table would mysteriously missing a few slices now and then. :) Even though I did not slice the whole loaf when I store it in the container, and when I took a peek much later in the day, it mysteriously was all neatly sliced, of course with missing pieces! And that does not happen very often!
A very easy cake to make, everything comes together in just minutes. Nigella says to use a 2-pound loaf pan, but I have used a slightly smaller loaf pan of 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" and the cake came out perfect. As usual, I reduced the sugar slightly, though I think that it can still be reduced slightly more, as it was still a little sweet for me.
I was expecting the cake to fall down slightly in the centre, as the photo from the book, but mine bakes up rather evenly at the top. This cake uses the zest of two oranges and the juice of one orange. I used two large oranges and they were very juicy, the juice of one orange gave me 1/3 cup of juice.
Can you see the bits of orange zest on the piece of cake? The lovely zest are all over throughout the cake. It makes the cake very orangy, both in taste and fragrance. The cake is very moist and soft. Don't expect a very strong chocolaty taste but the chocolate taste is definitely there, with the delightful orangy flavour and yet at the same time, light enough that you would reach out for a second piece.
Delicious cake, a definite keeper recipe! Bake one today!Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
(adapted from "Nigella Kitchen" by Nigella Lawson)
Cuts into 10-12 slices
1-1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing (160gm)
dab flavorless vegetable oil, for greasing syrup spoon
2 tablespoons golden syrup (such as Lyle's), or dark corn syrup
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar (I use scant 3/4 cup light brown sugar)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
zest of 2 regular orange and juice of 1 (1/3 cup)
1x 2-pound loaf pan (I use 8-1/2"x4-1/2" loaf pan)
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the sides, or line with a paper loaf-pan liner.
- Beat the already soft butter with the syrup - if you dab a little oil on your tablespoon measure with a sheet of paper towel, the syrup shouldn't stick to the spoon - and the sugar until you have a fairly smooth caffe Americano cream, though the sugar will have a bit of grit about it.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder together, and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tablespoonful 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. At this stage, the batter may suddenly look dimpled, as if slightly curdled. No need to panic!
- Pour and scrape into the prepared pan 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. A cake tester won't come out entirely clean, as the point of this cake, light though it may be, is to have just a hint of inner stickiness. Let cool a little in its pan on a wire rack, then turn out with care and leave on the rack to cool.
Make Ahead Note :
The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in airtight container. Will keep for 5 days total.
Freeze Note :
The cake can be frozen, tightly wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminium foil, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!
Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013
And I'm sharing this with Cook-Your-Books #3 hosted by Kitchen Flavours