Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Chocolate Orange Cake

I hope everyone had a really lovely Christmas! Karl and I packed our bags and headed down South to spend Christmas with my parents. I had promised my Mum I would make a cake to have as dessert on Christmas Eve. Originally I was going to make a big chocolate cake and ice it properly and make some models for the top...but after the problems I had last time I really didn't need the hassle right before travelling!

In the end I decided to make a Chocolate Orange Cake. This is one of my favourite recipes to make and I'm sure I made it last year for my Mum as well but I jazzed it up a bit this year.

The recipe is out of an old asda magazine that my friend passed onto me. I don't normally like chocolate and orange but for some reason love this cake. The cake is nice and chocolatey and although you can taste the orange its not over powering. The texture of the cake looks like its going to be very heavy but is actually very moist and light. Its also wheat free!

Chocolate and Orange Cake
100g butter
150g plain chocolate
150g ground almonds
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
2tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
6 large eggs, seperated
100g caster sugar
3tbsp cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/Gas 3. Greased a 23cm round deep cake tin with butter and line the base.
Break the chocolate into squares and put in a bowl with the butter. Stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water and leave until the chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from the pan and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Stir in the ground almonds, orange zest and juice and the egg yolks.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add 1tbsp caster sugar and whisk until stiff again. Repeat with the rest of the sugar, whisking after each addition.
Add a quarter of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in. Then fold in the rest.
Turn into a prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 mins. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then turn out on a wire rack to finish cooking. Serve dusted with cocoa powder.
I decorated mine with a little bit of chocolate orange butter cream round the edge of the cake and piped onto the top and then made some sparkly holly leaves out of sugar paste.
It you have a go at making this cake, please be careful when removing the cake from the tin...its so soft and very easy to break!

Sorry for the poor quality of pics...I took them with my new ipod and can't quite get to grips with the touch screen!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas Themed Cake

I am a terrible blogger...I cant believe that my last post was the 25th November. Doesnt time fly! Unfortunately, I just have not had the time (or money!) to bake much throughout December.
Christmas is almost upon us and as part of my cake class I had to make a Christmas themed cake with a model on the top.

This cake was a teensy bit of a disaster in all honesty!! It was the first cake where I was left completely to my own devices to ice and decorate it. At first I was really excited and had loads of extravagant ideas...which of course all went out of the window after struggling with the fondant icing for hours!

I used a Nigella chocolate cake recipe which I really love but I made the big mistake of trying to ice it the day I made it...well as soon as I tried to level the top the whole cake just crumbled leaving me with an un-level cake! If I had tried to level it out anymore I think I would have ended up with no cake at in the end I had the to make the best out of a bad situation and take Karls advice...prop it up with a bit of chocolate butter cream!!

It sounded ingenious at the time to my stressed out brain until I realised actually how much butter cream it would take to prop it up...nevermind I thought I dont have a choice!

I then put the icing on which that took aaages..I could not get it to roll out properly and by this point was seriously losing my temper with my cake...I really just wanted to throw it in the bin! To top it off by the time I had the fondant on and the snowman the extra weight squished all the butter cream out of the cake which created a bulge around the middle of the cake!!

It wasn't one of my best looking creations but it tasted pretty good and I guess practice makes perfect which is why I've signed up to another 10 cake classes!