"Wait...is that...is that a nugget of chocolatey sponge surrounded by orange sponge? With yet another layer of chocolate beneath it?" I hear you ask. Why yes, yes it is.
I love baking. Okay so I just love feeding people but feeding people cake is the best; cake makes everyone happy and I have a new(ish) and perfect excuse to bake - a gorgeous, 3 month old nephew.
If the world was a magical place where baking all the time was normal and we could eat cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner it wouldn't be a problem, though as it currently stands - I don't want to turn myself and my flatmate into giant cake wales so tend not to bake as much.
For my last nephew visit I baked what would technically be called a Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate and Orange Marbled, Orange Drizzle Cake. Really rolls off the tongue doesn't it; hence my shortened version.
I know you might be thinking "Why bake cakes in honour of a baby who would currently rather eat his own hand?" Well i'm playing the long game my friends. If I am to win the acclaimed title of Favourite Aunt, I must start young; I make the parents happy with cake, I become associated with happy parents, as soon as he is old enough to appreciate, I bake a cake in the shape of a monkey and BAM! - Favourite Aunt for at least a month.
Having recently baked a lemon drizzle for a cake-hungry colleague I wanted to try something a bit different but equally moist. I really hope you all just shuddered at the word moist. This cake looks amazing, every slice is different and seems impressive but it's actually bloody easy. Winner.
If you don't want to add the drizzle - don't have the time, would rather not inject another ton of sugar into your cake or don't fancy the extra moistness - i've added an orange cream cheese icing which is equally delish.
New outfit every slice
Timings: 30 mins prep and 1 hour cooking
Quantities: This makes one quite big loaf, I wanted to do a taste test so made a few little cupcakes instead of filling the whole tin but a 9x5 inch loaf tin will be pretty perfect.
Kitchen Stuff: An electric hand mixer will be your best friend, if you don't have one that's fine, you'll just have bigger arm muscles than the rest of us.
An oven (should be a given but just for the microwave lovers - no it won't do).
A few mixing bowls
9 x 5 loaf tin (or big cake tin)
For all you bacon not baking folks, a 'US cup' is not any mug out of your cupboard, it is a set measurement; you can buy the measuring utensils in any department store for very little. Tsp = teaspoon, Tbsp = tablespoon
250g (2 US cups) plain flour
1 ½ Tsp baking powder
½ Tsp salt
200g (1½ Cups) granulated sugar (I used half golden, half white)
2 large oranges, both zested (zest all grated into a bowl) and 1 juiced.
1 package cream cheese (about 220g)
170g (3/4 Cup) butter
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
50g - 100g (half or whole big bar) dark chocolate bar smashed into chunks
2 Tbsp cocoa powder, sifted (this is important, see sifting below in FLOUR & STUFF)
115g caster sugar
Juice of half an orange
juice of half a lemon
Zest of half an orange
300g cream cheese
Grated zest of one orange
100g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
1. FLOUR & STUFF: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl - sifting is gently putting the flour etc through a sieve into the bowl so you have no floury lumps.
2. SMOOTH & CREAMY: In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together with your electric mixer, or strong arms and a wooden spoon, until completely mixed. Add the granulated sugar and beat until it's all smooth and creamy.
With your electric mixer on a medium speed, or having borrowed your nearest burly man, beat in one egg at a time. When all incorporated, beat in the vanilla extract.
3. ALL TOGETHER NOW: Add your flour mix to the creamy mixture all at once and beat on a low speed until completely incorporated. Now separate half of the mixture in to a different bowl.
4. CHOCOLATE OR ORANGE: Into one mixture bowl add 1 tbsp orange zest and 1 tbsp orange juice and combine. In the other mixture bowl, add the sifted chocolate powder and chocolate chunks, however many you fancy, and combine. Have a separate big spoon for each mixture.
5. MARBLE IT UP: If your loaf tin isn't greaseproof, grease it with a bit of butter an then sprinkle a little flour over it. Spoon a dollop of orange mixture at one end, then a dollop of chocolate mixture in the middle, then orange again at the end. Then plop alternative mixture on top (for example, chocolate on top of the orange mixture) and keep going until you have used all the mixture.
Using a knife, place it in the mixture in the middle of one end, and wiggle it through the loaf tin in a large zig zag motion until you reach the other side. Only do this once to keep it looking smart. Should look something like this:
6. BAKE IT: Pop it in the middle of the oven for 50 - 60 minutes (could take longer depending on thickness). If you have an aga, put it in the centre of the bottom right.
Check it after 40 minutes - if the top is looking really brown, you can gently cover it with a piece of kitchen foil to stop it going too brown. You will know it's done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a couple of crumbs on it - no gooey mixture attached.
My taste-test/greed cupcakes only took 15 - 20 minutes in the oven:
7. DRIZZLE: Combine the caster sugar, lemon juice and orange juice with a little orange zest and mix until it's runny. If it's too thick, add a bit more orange juice but you want it pretty thick but spreadable. When the cake has cooled for about 5 - 10 minutes but is still warm, use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to spread the drizzle on the cake.
You can either keep spreading all the mixture if you are short for time or wait for the layer to dry, spread again and repeat until the mixture has been used up. When the mixture has dried and you have a lovely crispy top, wrap the cake in baking paper then kitchen foil so it doesn't dry out and stays moist.
ICING: Combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer or wooden spoon and spread on the cake when cool. Add extra zest for more orangey flavour and sprinkle zest on top too look fancy.
Look at what you have created. IT'S SO WORTH IT!
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