Blood orange drizzle cake

Blood orange drizzle cake

Blood oranges are a fruit I’ve always been intrigued by, but for some reason never see in the shops. I know they have a fairly short season, but I think it could be more to do with my local shops being a bit useless…

Anyway, when I did spot a bag last weekend I got very excited and decided I had to bake something with them straight away. A quick bit of research on Pinterest found this amazing looking loaf cake on Fabtastic Eats – the colour of the icing sold it to me, and a few hours later I was baking.

Unfortunately, my cake doesn’t look quite as luscious and inviting in my photos – I am so sick of never having daylight to take pictures, most of these were taken when I took the cake into my office but the horrible artificial lighting really didn’t do the poor cake any favours – I promise, it was a nice colour really!

It was also a very tasty cake – moist, a nice crumb, delicious orange smell but not too overpowering taste, and to be honest with a drizzle AND a glaze you can’t really go wrong.

I would definitely use this recipe again and perhaps try it with different citrus fruits, the only change I would make is possibly making more of the glaze, as the pony thought I’d been a bit stingy and wanted more of it.

tea time treats

I’m entering this into the January Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked. Karen chose citrus as the theme for this month, and I think I’m just about in time to add this cake as my entry!

Blood orange drizzle cake (adapted from Fabtastic Eats)

For the cake:

  • 160g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of one blood orange
  • 2 tbsp blood orange juice
  • 225g butter, melted
  • 60ml milk

For the drizzle:

  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp blood orange juice

For the glaze:

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp blood orange juice

Note: I juiced three oranges, and that was enough for the cake, drizzle and glaze.

Start by mixing the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt together, and set aside. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy, as you would for a roulade sponge, then add the orange zest, juice, and melted butter, pouring in slowly while you mix. Sift in half of the flour and fold until just combined; add the milk and fold, then the remaining flour and fold again, until no white bits of flour are left. Pour into a 9×5″ loaf tin and bake at 170 degrees for about an hour, or until risen, golden and a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, mix the caster sugar and orange juice for the drizzle. Five minutes after you take the cake out the oven, poke the top all over with a skewer then pour the drizzle on top, letting it soak in, then leave the cake to cool completely.

Mix the icing sugar and orange juice to make the glaze – add the juice a bit at a time until it’s a pourable, but still thick, consistency (you might not need it all). Take the cake out the tin and pour the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides. Cut into slices and serve.

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Farmhouse chocolate and banana bread

Things are a little quiet on the baking front in the Hungry Hinny household at the minute, as our oven has been broken since last Sunday. Nine whole days of no oven! I can just about cope with preparing meals that don’t use the oven but the lack of baking is really starting to get to me.

It’s a particularly annoying time for it to happen, as I was given two fantastic books for Christmas that I can’t wait to start trying recipes from but have to wait – not fun!

Luckily I did manage to get one new bake in before the oven broke, from the Green and Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes collection (the one with the pretty colours on the front) which was kindly given to me by my dad, along with Edd Kimber’s first book, The Boy Who Bakes.

Deciding which amazing recipe to make would have been hard, but I had some very sad looking black bananas crying out to be used so the ‘farmhouse chocolate and banana bread’ jumped right out at me.

I think, just maybe, it might be the best banana loaf I’ve made to date. I have a favourite that involves ripples of chocolate and ginger, but for a more basic loaf I think this one comes out on top.

The texture was spot on, not too dense but still nice and moist, with lots of lovely chunks of dark chocolate in every slice. The only change I made to the original recipe was folding all the chocolate into the batter, rather than sprinkling half on top – I don’t like cakes where the good bits are all in one place!

I would definitely recommend this recipe, and it’s a good omen for the rest of the recipes in the Green & Black’s book – I just hope my oven comes back to life soon so I can get on with testing them!

Green & Black’s farmhouse chocolate and banana bread (from Green & Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes)

  • 100g butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 medium super-ripe bananas (200g peeled weight)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa or higher, chopped

Start by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until they turn into complete baby-food mush, then whisk in the eggs and milk. Add these ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar and beat well. Sift in the flour and fold until no white specks are left, then fold in the chopped chocolate.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 9×5″ (2lb) loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees for about 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tin and slicing.

Pumpkin and chocolate marble loaf

Having prepared my pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice at the weekend, I set about making my first pumpkin and chocolate creation for this month’s We Should Cocoa.

My home page on Pinterest has been full of pumpkin for the past month or so, and it’s an ingredient which has featured heavily in a lot of the blogs I follow, so I certainly wasn’t short of inspiration when deciding what to make.

I wanted to do something where you could clearly see it was pumpkin and chocolate, rather than something that was completely chocolate coloured (if that makes sense) so I decided to go for a marble cake.

I found plenty of recipes for marble bundt cakes but, despite the pony’s huge appetite, they tend to be a bit big for just the two of us.

As I couldn’t find a recipe specifically for a marble loaf, I used this recipe for pumpkin muffins as the base, then divided the mixture adding cocoa powder to one half, which worked out pretty well.

For a bit of added chocolatey-ness, I made some of my favourite chocolate fudge icing to go on top, and at the pony’s suggestion finished it with a dusting of cocoa powder – you can never go over the top with chocolate in our house!

Unfortunately I decided to make this on Sunday morning, before going to a Christening, and left myself with a maximum of 45 minutes to bake it before I had to turn the oven off and run out the door. It wasn’t exactly undercooked, but I reckon 5 or 10 minutes more would have been perfect, so if you try baking this make sure you leave yourself enough time!

Pumpkin and chocolate marble loaf (adapted from Table for Two)

  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 115g butter, melted
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 250g (1 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

Sift the flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice into a large bowl and mix in the sugar. Whisk together the melted butter, egg and pumpkin puree in a separate bowl,  then stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Transfer half of the mixture into another bowl, then add the cocoa powder and milk into one of the bowls and mix well. Add alternating dollops of each mixture into a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin, then swirl a skewer through it to marble. Don’t swirl too much or it will all mix together.

Bake at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes – check with a skewer to see if it’s done.

For the icing:

  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 25g butter
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • cocoa powder to dust

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir once, then beat in the icing sugar and milk. Leave to cool, then once thickened spread on top of the loaf. Dust with cocoa powder then cut into slices and serve.

I’m entering this for the October We Should Cocoa challenge, the theme of which is pumpkin and this month is being hosted by me! Thanks very much to founders Choclette and Chele for letting me be involved – if you want to enter, you can read the rules here.

Banana and coconut loaf cake (GF)

When one of my colleagues recently went on maternity leave, naturally I wanted to see her off with a cake, as you do.

Unfortunately things didn’t go quite to plan – she ended up being a bit too pregnant to travel to the office, and apparently is allergic to bananas anyway (how I have known her two years without finding that out I have no idea!)

Anyway, with the pony on hand cake never goes to waste, and a few other people at work had a slice too, including my colleague who can’t eat wheat flour and always appreciates a wheat free bake.

 

This banana and coconut cake combines two of my favourite flavours with a delicious texture and the cream cheese icing finishes it off nicely as the cake itself isn’t too sweet.

The original recipe came from Tart to Heart, a blog which, if you haven’t already seen it, is amazing – I highly recommend you go look and drool immediately!

Banana and coconut loaf cake (GF) (Recipe adapted from Tart to Heart)

  • 120g gluten free plain flour
  • 100g oat flour
  • 40g desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 35g sunflower oil
  • 45g greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt and nutmeg into a bowl with the coconut and stir in. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, coconut milk, sugar, oil, yoghurt, eggs and vanilla, then add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well until just combined.

Pour into a lined 2lb loaf tin (I think mine is about 9×5″) and bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, or until risen and a skewer comes out clean.

Cream cheese icing

  • 100g cream cheese
  • 50g butter
  • 100g icing sugar

Beat the butter to soften, then add in half the cream cheese and all of the sugar and beat until no lumps remain. Add the remaining cream cheese and beat until just combined. Chill in the fridge to firm up, then spread on top of the cooled cake.

Lemon drizzle loaf

Sometimes, the simplest things are the best.

Don’t get me wrong, I love experimenting with flavour combinations, icing, cake decorations and way over the top creations, but sometimes simple can be just as delicious.

A perfect example is the classic lemon drizzle loaf.

When I decided I wanted to make one, I looked around a while for a recipe, but then realised that the beauty of a lemon drizzle is in it’s simplicity, and a fancy recipe really wasn’t necessary.

 

I went for a basic egg weight sponge, with plenty of zesty lemon, with lemon juice and sugar for the drizzle – couldn’t be easier!

The texture of the loaf was exactly what I wanted, and the drizzle a nice crisp contrast, which as the pony put it “tastes like pancakes” and the cake off beautifully.

I will definitely be making this again – simple, summery, delicious!

Lemon drizzle loaf

Cuts into about 10 slices

  • 3 large eggs
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 190g butter
  • 190g self raising flour
  • zest of 2 lemons, juice of 1
For the drizzle
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar

Start by cracking the eggs into a jug and weighing them – the weight of the eggs dictates the weight of all the other ingredients. Mine came to 190g, which is why all the other ingredients are 190g.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually add in the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. It’s ok if it looks like it might curdle, just sift in the flour and fold to combine and it will be fine. Pour the mix into a 2lb loaf tin, lined with baking paper, and bake at 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake is cooking, mix together the lemon juice and sugar for the drizzle. As soon as the cake is out of the oven, poke all over with a skewer then pour the drizzle on top. Leave to cool completely, then turn out of the tin and cut into slices to serve.

Mars Bar loaf cake

I am a sucker for a bargain.

I try not to be tempted by offers unless it’s something I needed to get anyway or can genuinely find a good use for; but sometimes my resolve weakens and the brightly coloured reduction stickers win me over.

That’s exactly what happened last week when I saw almost out of date Mars Bars on sale for 20p each. 20p!

Ok, so I don’t actually like Mars Bars and would never want to eat one, but I was sure they could be put to good use in a cake of some sort…

And that’s how this Mars Bar loaf cake came about. After a bit of searching I found Cafe Lula’s recipe which uses the sickly sweet treats in 4 different ways – a quadruple Mars Bar cake if you will.

With 6 Mars Bars, as well as the melted chocolate and brown sugar, this is a cake for the seriously sweet-toothed and not for the faint-hearted. Luckily, I have the friendly pony here, who polished off the best part of this 2lb loaf cake in just 2 days…

Mars Bar loaf cake (recipe from Cafe Lula)

Serves 10

  • 6 Mars Bars (I used double chocolate ones but normal would be fine)
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 110g butter
  • 110g creme fraiche
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100ml double cream

Roughly chop one and a half of the Mars Bars and 75g of the chocolate, and melt over a low heat in a saucepan with the butter, stirring until smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl and leave to cool, then beat in the creme fraiche, followed by the eggs. Sift the sugar, flour, baking powder and bicarb into the bowl and fold in to the mixture.

Slice two more of the Mars Bars into roughly 10 pieces each. Pour a third of the cake batter into a 2lb/900g greased and lined loaf tin, then evenly sprinkle half the chopped Mars Bars on top. Cover with another third of the mixture, the remaining Mars Bar pieces, and then the final third of the batter. Bake at 160 degrees for 45 minutes, then turn the temperature up to 170 for another 10-15 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes in total.

To make the icing, roughly chop another one and a half Mars Bars and the leftover 25g dark chocolate, and place in a saucepan with the cream. Heat slowly, stirring until melted and no lumps remain. Leave to chill in the fridge until thick but still pourable. Turn the cake out of the tin, then pour the icing on top, letting it drip down the sides a little. Chop the last Mars Bar into small pieces and sprinkle on top to decorate.

Chocolate orange banana bread

When Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog announced that this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge was orange, I was pretty happy as I already had several bakes in mind using the combination, as it just seems so festive.


I intend to make a chocolate orange cheesecake for Boxing Day, but that will be too late for the WSC deadline, and I was also considering some sort of orange flavoured chocolate truffle as a one of the food gifts I give this year, but again that might be pushing it a bit for time.

What I’m actually submitting came about more by circumstance than design. I had over-ripe bananas that needed to be used, and homemade orange curd that hadn’t quite set thickly enough, so I decided to make a chocolate chip banana bread, throw in some orange curd and hope for the best.

Luckily, it turned out great! I adapted a recipe from The Goddess’s Kitchen, which already included orange zest, and ended up with a moist, dense loaf, with both the banana and orange flavours coming through equally, and the dark chocolate chunks adding a nice texture contrast (and of course essential chocolate deliciousness!)

I’m yet to find a go-to banana bread recipe, and although I don’t think this is it as I don’t normally have orange curd going spare, I might try it again just as plain banana and chocolate because the texture was spot on!

Chocolate orange banana bread (recipe adapted from The Goddess’s Kitchen)

  • 4 ripe bananas (this was about 400g for me)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp orange curd
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped

Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add in the sugar and butter and rub until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mash the bananas in a bowl with a fork, then mix in the eggs, vanilla, orange curd and chocolate. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined 2 lb loaf tin, then bake at 170 degrees for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool overnight if possible, then slice and serve!

I look forward to seeing what everyone else does with the chocolate-orange combo, and keep an eye out for more variations on it from me!

Simple fruit loaf

I have a confession to make – I am extremely selfish.

Not generally in life (I hope), but more when it comes to baking. While I love having a reason to bake, like a birthday, what I’m really excited about is having the chance to try baking something new.

My dad’s favourite cake is, and always has been, fruit cake, but every year I bake him something else – because to me, fruitcake is boring. Easy to make, simple looking, no icing, nothing fancy…

But this year, I decided to put my selfishness to one side and bake him an amazing fruit cake. I chose a recipe from the Great British Bake Off – How To Bake book, and got ready to write down my list of ingredients.

It was only when I read through the whole recipe, however, that I noticed the line which said ‘leave to mature for at least a month before finishing’. Oops. This was the day before my dad’s birthday.

As I’d bought the GBBO book especially, I decided to stick with it and go for the ‘quick and simple fruit loaf’, which only needed to be kept for a day before eating.

It was exactly as described – quick, simple, un-fancy – but baked beautifully to a deep golden colour with a huge crack running down the length of it, which in my mind is how a fruit loaf should look.

My dad was happy, as was I – and now I’m really looking forward to baking more recipes from this book as it was so easy to follow with great results.

(PS – In case my gushing about this book is sounding suspicious – I did buy it with my hard earned cash, it wasn’t a freebie for review!)

Simple fruit loaf (from the Great British Bake Off – How To Bake)

  • 175g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 300g luxury dried fruit mix
  • 125ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam

Grease and line a 900g loaf tin (the book helpfully gives the measurements – 26×12.5×7.5cm). Heat the butter and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar has completely dissolved, then remove from the heat. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and stir in the dried fruit.

Beat together the eggs and milk, then pour into the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and sugar, and mix it all together until well combined. Spread the mixture into the prepared tin, then bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

When cooled remove from the tin. Melt the apricot jam with a tbsp water, then brush over the top to glaze.

Banana cake

This cake comes courtesy of Cat from TheCattyLife, who came to my aid when I had two sad looking bananas desperate to be turned into a cake.

I followed her recipe for her mum’s super easy, super delicious banana cake, but reducing the quantities by a third to match the amount of banana I had.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my loaf tin must be enormous, as the original recipe is supposed to fill two, but mine didn’t even come halfway up in one, resulting in a rather flat cake.

Flat, but totally delicious I should add! This is definitely cakey rather than bready, which I think I prefer. The orange juice makes it really moist, and the condensed milk gives an added sweetness.

Will definitely try this again next time I have bananas and condensed milk both waiting to be used!

Banana Cake (adapted from TheCattyLife):

  • 2 bananas, mashed (approx 3/4 cup)
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 160g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp condensed milk
  • juice of a small orange (half a cup-ish)

Cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, mix until combined, then add in the orange juice, condensed milk and banana and mix again.

Pour the mixture into a grease and lined loaf tin (seriously, don’t ask me how big it should be, just guess) and bake at 170 degrees for 45 mins (mine took an hour, but I realised that was because I hadn’t turned the heat up enough).

Basic granary loaf

After the sugar overload of barbecue cakes, bank holiday monday was definitely a day for some savoury baking.

I wanted to try a basic granary loaf, on the basis that if it turned out nice I would never have to buy bread again.

I think that may have been a bit overly optimistic for my first attempt, and the resulting loaf certainly wasn’t perfect, but I was pleased nonetheless.

I used this recipe, but took the advice of several of the comments and gave it a double rising. Without trying it the original way I can’t really say if it made a difference, but better safe than sorry.

Basic granary loaf (recipe from BBC Good Food):

  • 500g granary bread flour
  • 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 300ml warm water
Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix with a spoon to combine, then tip out onto a floured worktop to knead for 5 minutes. I found I had to dust with quite a bit more flour as I was kneading to stop it getting too sticky. Once you’ve finished kneading, put the ball of dough into a clean bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm.
After an hour or so, the dough should have doubled in size.
Tip it back onto the worktop, knock the air out and then give it another quick knead. Transfer the dough into an oiled loaf tin (not totally sure of the size tin I used but I think it may be 2 litre capacity).
Leave to rise again, for another hour, until the dough has risen to fill the tin.
Slash it a few times on top then bake for 30-35 minutes at 200 degrees until risen and golden, and a tap on the bottom sounds hollow.

Leave to cool a little, then slice and enjoy! This was amazing while still slightly warm, but by the next day had gone a bit dense. Still made excellent toast though!