When I’m stressed I cook but baking in particular calms me. You have to use perfectly controlled quantities, methods and timings to get the best results. This is a moist, simple chocolate orange cake to calm the nerves.
Thanks to Ulster Bank the stress has been rising in the household over the past few weeks. I first posted about the mess they had made of our accounts 10 days ago now. It’s still not been solved. We have access to cash for shopping etc but it’s the not knowing if our bills have been paid, or when it will be fixed that is driving me up the walls. The bank say that the main utilities will be paid on our behalf and resolved when the system is sorted but honestly they’ve not exactly stuck to any of their promises up until now so I don’t feel like we can trust them.
Yesterday they announced that they didn’t have a date by which the problem would be fixed. This morning there are reports saying it could be the middle to the end of next week. As my ire increased the only thing I could control yesterday was my baking and actually the results have been pretty darn tasty if I say so myself.
This is a chocolate orange cake which I baked in a bundt tin. I didn’t bother icing the centre as the orange juice makes the mixture very moist and with the chocolate ganache on top you really don’t need anything else other than a mug of tea or coffee along with friends and family to share with.
- 200g Plain Flour
- 220g Butter
- 220g Caster Sugar
- 4 medium free range eggs
- 40g Cocoa Powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 Large Orange
For the ganache
- 300g dark or plain chocolate
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 stand mixer/handheld electric whisk & large bowl
- 1 Bundt tin/large springform cake tin (9″)
- 1 large square of baking paper
- Spray Oil (for greasing)
- Weighing Scales
- Large spatula
- Sharp Knife
- Small saucepan
- Heat your oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
- Put your bowl onto the weighing scales and weigh out the butter and caster sugar.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, the mixture will turn pale. If using a stand mixer use the paddle beater & not the whisk attachment.
- Weigh out the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder all into the same piece of baking paper and set to one side.
- Crack 2 eggs into the mixture and cream again until well mixed. The mixture will turn a bit split at first, keep on creaming until it turns back to pale and unsplit. If the mixture is sticking to the sides of the bowl, stop the mixture and use your spatula to clean the sides to the middle.
- Repeat step 3 above with the remaining 2 eggs.
- If your orange is waxed give it a good wash in hot soapy water and rinse with hot water.
- Now grate the rind of the orange directly into the mixture.
- Pour half the dried mixture on the baking paper into the mixing bowl and beat until well mixed.
- Repeat step 8 above for the second half.
- Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice directly into the mixing bowl then beat again until you have a batter.
- Spray your tin liberally with oil, I use sunflower oil in a bottle to do this.
- Using the spatula put the cake batter into the tin, if filling a bundt tin try not the drip it over the sides of the hole in the middle so be careful.
- Place into the oven to bake for 30 mins.
- After 30 mins open the oven to check if it is cooked by inserting a cocktail stick into the centre of the cake and removing. If it comes out clean then the cake is baked. If not, bake for a further 10 mins.
- Remove the cake from the oven when cooked through and place (still in the tin) onto a wire rack to cool down. This takes about an hour or so.
- Once cool, turn the tin upside down and the cake should just slide out with a little light tap. Remember “sand pie come out”?
- In a saucepan place the butter, golden syrup & the juice of 1 orange but NOT the chocolate just yet. Heat on low until the butter is melted and the golden syrup has become more liquid.
- Now add the chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted.
- Pour over the cake.
- Decorate with chocolate chips, chopped nuts or even simply with some more grated orange rind then serve.