Chocolate orange cake – take #1

I’m not at all a baker, and have baked about 5 times in my adult life that I can remember – all within the last year. Among those baking attempts, only 2 have been from scratch (hey, store-bought brownie mix is delicious and far, far cheaper) – a lemon drizzle cake and today’s chocolate orange cake.

The chocolate orange cake was hit and miss. A hit because it was moist and tasty – despite the whisk breaking while I was trying to mix the ingredients – but a miss because it was dead ugly. It would have looked a lot better if we had the patience to wait till tomorrow to try a slice – the way I made it probably required a lot more time for the cake to cool before layering on the chocolate, and then even longer for the chocolate to cool before pouring over the orange glaze.

Nonetheless, I’m posting the recipe with some notes for future reference as I’d like to make this again. This recipe is adapted from the lemon drizzle cake recipe linked above, with some reference to a recipe for an orange cake with orange butter icing.

Chocolate orange cake

Ingredients – cake:

  • 110g (4 oz) butter
  • 170g (6 oz) self raising flour 
  • 4 tablespoons milk [note: slightly more if the batter doesn’t seem fluid enough]
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • orange zest from 1 large orange (about 1 1/2 teaspoons) [note: I’d actually grate more zest as the cake itself wasn’t orangey enough for me

Ingredients – icing:

  • 100g milk chocolate [note: for added orange flavour I’d use Terry’s chocolate orange or add orange flavouring/essence]
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • juice from 1 large orange (about 75ml)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted)/ Gas mark 4. Grease a 23x13x7cm cake tin. [note: I’m not sure if my oven is wonky but 160 C was way too hot and the edges of my cake were burnt. I’d actually start the oven at 140 C (fan-assisted) and bake for 50min]
  2. Beat the ingredients for the cake together. Pour the cake mixture into prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
  3. Remove the cake from the oven. While the cake is cooling, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a greased bowl.
  4. Place the bowl into a saucepan with freshly boiled water. Let the chocolate melt, turning the stove on low heat if necessary to keep the water warm.
  5. Spread the melted chocolate over the cooled cake (still in the tin). Allow the chocolate to cool and harden.
  6. Heat the orange juice in the microwave for 45min, then add the icing sugar and stir well. Pour the mixture over the cake – it will cool to give a glazed finish. [note: keeping the cake in the tin will allow the bottom of the cake to absorb the mixture runoff. ]
  7. Alternatively, pour orange mixture over the cake before adding the melted chocolate topping.
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