Tag Archives: orange

Depressed Cake Shop

Depressed Cake Shop poster

I have been asked to bake a cake for Shrewsbury’s Depressed Cake Shop on Tuesday 10th October at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in partnership with the charity Shropshire Mind.  The Depressed Cake Shop is a chance for the community to come together and consider and discuss issues around depression.

All the cakes will contain an element of grey to symbolise the grey cloud that can hang over someone struggling with depression.

I have trialled my cake today to make sure I have the recipe spot on before baking it again for next week’s event.  I have chosen to make a chocolate orange cake based on Claudia Roden’s orange and almond cake, but with the added boost of chocolate. Nigella has a similar recipe but I have reduced the sugar by 50g and upped the treacly flavour of the sugar by using light soft brown rather than caster sugar.

Chocolate and orange cake

If you are in or near Shrewsbury next Tuesday then please pop into the museum between 11am and 2pm to support this very good cause.

Chocolate, orange and almond cake

2 oranges
200g light soft brown sugar
6 eggs
200g ground almonds
50g cocoa powder

Method
Place the oranges in a pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ hours until the oranges are soft. Drain and allow to cool. Cut the oranges in half and remove any pips. Place in a food processor and pulse until pureed. You can do this in a food mill or chop finely and push through a sieve if you don’t have a food processor.

Preheat your oven to 180°c or gas mark 4 or use the baking oven of the four oven Aga (or the roasting oven of the two oven Aga using a cake baker or cold shelf).

Break the eggs into a large bowl and beat until combined. Add all the other ingredients and stir well until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into an 18cm cake tin lined with baking parchment.  Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until springy to the touch.  Cool on a wire rack in the tin for ten minutes and then remove from the tin and allow to cool completely.

I have decorated my cake with a grey cloud made out of fondant icing coloured grey and piped with a darker grey icing made with icing sugar, food colouring and a few drops of water.

Chocolate and orange cake slice

UPDATE (9/10/17): A lovely person called Chantal emailed me to remind me that we aren’t supposed to make cakes with nuts in, in case of allergy. I really should read things properly!  So, instead I have made rice crispie cakes, because who doesn’t love a crispie cake? They are always the first to sell on any cake stall. I hope they sell well tomorrow.

 

Candied peel scones

candied peel scone

It felt like a scone morning this morning. I have made some marmalade and so felt the urge to make scones that would go well with marmalade. I have some candied peel in a kilner jar on the side and so was born a lovely scone.

scones with marmalade

You don’t have to make your own candied peel to make these but I urge you to give it a try. It’s very easy, lasts for ages and is much more delicious than any you can buy. Try the link above for my recipe for candied peel.

Makes 6-8 scones

300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
20g caster sugar
50g butter, cut into dice
20g candied peel, cut into small pieces
1 egg
100ml plain yoghurt
50ml milk

Egg wash, made with 1 egg and a dessertspoon of milk whisked together
caster sugar for sprinkling on top

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°c, gas mark 7 or use the floor of the roasting oven of the Aga for ten minutes and then move to the top of the roasting oven for the last two minutes to brown.

I make my scones in a food processor, which makes it easy and quick. Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in the bowl of the processor. Add the butter and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix the yoghurt, milk and egg together in a jug and pour into the flour. Add the candied peel. Pulse until it just begins to come together. Tip out onto a surface and bring together into a disc.

If you don’t have a processor then place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Add the cubes of butter and rub in using your fingertips. Add the yoghurt, milk and egg (that you have lightly whisked together) and the candied peel and bring together with your hands. This will only take a few seconds.

I then tend to pat the mixture into a round with my hands, but you can use a light touch with a rolling pin, to about 2.5cm thick. Stamp out scones using a biscuit cutter. Do not rotate the cutter, just stamp down and lift out. If you rotate you prevent them rising properly. Re-roll the trimmings and stamp out until you have no mixture left. Place onto a floured baking tray, brush with egg wash just on the top and sprinkle over a layer of sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden and crusty on top. Leave for about 2 minutes and then eat. These are best eaten straight out of the oven.

 

 

Chocolate and orange tart

My goodness this is good!

My sister-in-law is a keen cook and has a huge folder full of ripped out pages from recipe magazines with some of her favourite recipes.  I was spending a lovely half hour looking through this file when I came across a recipe for Chocolate and Orange Mascarpone Tart which just looked as if it needed to be made. I borrowed the cutting, and if Janice is reading this, it will be coming back to you soon, I promise.  I meant to make the tart over a month ago, but didn’t quite manage to find the time before we went away.  The tub of mascarpone that I had bought though had a surprisingly long shelf life so when we returned from our hols I was very pleased to see that if I was quick I could still try my hand at this little gem of a tart.

Now, I am afraid that there is no evidence of which magazine this cutting was originally taken from, but as I seem unable to take a recipe at its word I have made my own adaptations to it anyway.

It’s really delicious and really rich, so a 20cm tart will easily serve 12 people if not a few more and it still tastes good a few days after being made – I know because I have been doing plenty of experimenting!

For the base:
200g dark chocolate digestives
50g unsalted butter, melted
zest of 1 orange

For the filling:
250g mascarpone, at room temperature
100g cream cheese, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
150g light brown soft sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp fine sea salt
50g good quality dark chocolate
50g good quality orange flavoured dark chocolate ( I used Lindt Excellence Orange Intense Chocolate, which has delicious orange crispy bits)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°c (gas mark 6, 400°f).

Whizz the biscuits in a food processor, or place in a food bag and bash with a rolling-pin until they make fine crumbs.  Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter with the orange zest and mix to combine well.

Press the biscuit crumb mixture into a 20cm springform cake tin, making sure it is well pressed down. Place in the fridge to chill  whilst you make the filling.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Place all the ingredients for the filling, except for the chocolate, into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Add the chocolate and whizz again until combined.  Pour this filling over the biscuit base. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until just set and risen slightly at the edges.  Slide a knife around the edge of the tart to loosen it and then leave in the tin to cool.  Chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight before serving. Serve with plenty of cream.

Chocolate cake – gluten free

choc cake

My sister is gluten intolerant so whenever she is coming to our house we try to bear this in mind.  She was expected at the party at the weekend and as there were other chocolate cakes available I thought it only fair to prepare one that she could eat.  The chocolate cake is one of Nigella’s recipes and is absolutely delicious.  I bought her Feast book (2006, Chatto & Windus) after my very good friend Annalin served us Nigella’s Espresso Martinis at a gathering at her house last Christmas. The martinis are unbelievably good.  However, I don’t think the martini recipe is in Feast after all, but there is a whole chapter called the Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame which has more than made up for that disappointment. The chocolate cake below is Nigella’s Chocolate Orange Cake, which is moist, orangey and gorgeous.  I topped it with some cupcake frosting that I had left over after making Peggy Porschen’s cupcakes from the October 2009 edition of the Sainsbury’s magazine. The combination of cake and frosting is very good and as a result of my sister forgetting about the party I had the terrible situation where I was left with cake to finish up…

For the chocolate cake:
2 oranges, weighing about 375g in total
200g ground almonds
250g golden caster sugar
50g good quality cocoa
1 heaped tsp baking powder (make sure this is gluten free!)
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
6 eggs
Method
You will need a 20 cm cake tin, buttered and lined.
If you can plan ahead then it is wise to start this the day before you want to make the cake as you need to place the oranges in a pan, cover with water and bring to a simmer and then simmer for two hours until soft.  You then need time for the oranges to cool.

Once the oranges are cool, cut in half and remove any pips.  Place the oranges in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Don’t overdo as it is nice to find little chunks of orange in the cake and you are going to be using the blade with the rest of the ingredients. Add all of the remaining ingredients and pulse again until just combined.

Scrape this into the cake tin and level the surface. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°c (350°f, gas mark 4) for 45 mins – 1 hour until it’s springy to the touch and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin.

Leave it to cool completely in the tin.  You could leave it undecorated and it will last for days, but I have to say with the chocolate frosting it is even more of a winner.

finished choc cake