Spiced Autumnal Orange Drizzle Cake with Dark Chocolate Embers
It's autumn on campus. I love going for walks with friends around the fields on the beautifully bright days that we're lucky to have. And with the dark nights drawing in and the leaves falling off the trees, it is the perfect time to brave your face to the brisk night at a bonfire, or turn in early and watch the flames lapping the wood in the fireplace.
When I came up with this cake 2 years ago, I had both types of fires in my mind as inspiration. I had also been watching Masterchef and one of the contestants had created a dish using charcoal to recreate the fiery taste of a bonfire. I decided to use dark chocolate, not feeling quite knowledgeable enough about charcoal flavouring (perhaps leave that for another time). My idea being that the chocolate would visually recreate the burning embers of a fire, and the orange and spices would add the warmth in the flavour.
I used the Lemon Drizzle Cakerecipe as my starting point for bringing to life a perfect autumnal treat.
Ingredients for Spiced Autumnal Orange Drizzle Cake with Dark Chocolate Embers
- 125g/4.5oz butter
- 75g/3oz caster sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150g/5oz self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp mixed spice
- zest of one orange* see top tip.
- 2 tbsp (or 30 ml) of Cointreau or milk if you don't want to use alcohol
- 85g/3.5oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Top Tip: wash the fruit with a wee bit of washing up liquid to take the wax off, unless you can buy unwaxed oranges (I find them harder to source compared to lemons and limes). It will make the zesting of the orange much more effective and easier.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 2lb loaf tin.
2. If you don't have an electric whisk, like me, then mix the butter, sugar, orange zest together first before adding in the eggs, then the flour, spices and baking powder. If you have an electric whisk, then add in all of the above ingredients and whizz them up until the mixture is smooth.
3. Stir in the Cointreau/milk so that the mixture falls softly off the spoon - that's my interpretation of 'a soft, dropping consistency'.
4. Stir the chocolate into the cake mixture. I wanted the chocolate to sink to the bottom of the cake, so didn't coat the chocolate with flour.
5. Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin and smooth the top. Pop it into the oven and let it bake for about 40 minutes, or until the tester/knife comes out clean.
6. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the orange drizzle. (if you prefer it a bit sweeter, then increase the sugar)
Ingredients for Orange Drizzle
- Juice of one orange
- 1 tbsp of Cointreau
- 30g golden caster sugar
7. I normally use a chopstick to poke wholes in the cake for the drizzle to pour into. This time I experimented with a cocktail stick in case they make smaller holes. Nope. I'll return to the chopstick next time.
8. Slowly pour the drizzle evenly over the cake when it is fresh out of the oven. Ta da!
Verdict - Mmmmmmmm.... Moist and flavoursome. The chocolate, orange and spice mix is a winner with adults and children alike. The added bonus is that this is a simple and quick cake to bake (especially if you have an electric whisk).