Sunday 17 February 2008

A Truly Great Pairing

You may have noticed that I casually overlooked Valentine's Day here on Happy Love Strawberry. Any February 14th post? Nooo. We don't have a 14th of February on this blog. No heart-shaped chocolate souffle sprinkle sundae gooey brownie cakes for two to share round here.
Actually that sounds pretty good. But no.

If I was going to bake something to represent my romantic endeavours, it would need to be something as bitter as I am, and so I'm sparing you from that. Instead, I'm going to celebrate a truly great pairing that I do appreciate. The old 'chocolate + orange = ♥' formula (yeah, that 'formula' may help you to understand why I'm so bad at maths. It apparently doesn't go down too well in exams).

I took this to our picnic the other day to help me and my friends celebrate our platonic love, and everyone seemed to agree that chocolate and orange go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong. Who's going to argue with that?

I don't make a lot of chocolate cake (I think I've mentioned that I prefer either chocolate OR cake) but this is a really good recipe as it's particularly moist though oddly, it doesn't look it in the sliced photo; I had to take that a couple of days after it was made as it was a leftover piece. Also this cake did NOT want to photo so you get a good chocolate hit.

Just what you need to sweeten yourself up when you're feeling bitter and resentful. I mean, hypothetically.

Chocolate Orange Layer Cake
Recipe from You magazine, 13th January 08
Makes 1 x 20cm cake

225g butter
225g demerara sugar
175g self-raising flour
50g sifted cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 eggs
100ml milk

Orange buttercream:
220g butter
220g icing sugar
zest of 2 oranges
2 tbsp Cointreau or orange juice
1 egg yolk
orange or yellow food colouring

1. Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/375F/gas 5 and butter a 20cm x 9cm cake tin.

2. Cream all cake ingredients together (helpful if you have a kitchen aid or mixer or boyfriend to stir for you whatever here) until all smooth and mixed in, then transfer it to the cake tin, smooth the surface, and bake for about 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. To be honest I only needed about 30-35 mins but I'm a bit paranoid about undercooking cakes - it's happened before - and I think it would have been moister if I'd taken it out earlier. Run a knife around the outside to loosen, and leave to cool.

3. For the buttercream, blend the butter, icing sugar and orange zest together in a big bowl and whack it around a bit until really pale and fluffy. Add the cointreau/juice and whisk for a minute longer, then the egg yolk and colouring and mix it all in until even. Naturally I chose cointreau, to drown my sorrows in alcohol.

4. Use a bread knife to slit the cake into three layers. Divide the filling into three then spread the bottom and middle layers with filling and whack the rest over the top. I spread it round the sides as well, cause I prefer it that way, though there wasn't really enough buttercream for that. You could decorate it with chocolate orange segments if you had a chocolate orange, but I didn't have anyone to buy me chocolate, so I just crumbled a flake bar over the top. Et voila!

Who am I kidding with the misery act? I'll take cake over romance any day.


Nilmandra said...

Ooh this look like a really good recipe and we love chocolate orange. I'll bookmark this for sure.

Pixie said...

Indigo, I'm truly amazed by your talent! This cake looks amazing and I'd love to try it someday. A mini version as it's just the two of us. You have some very fortunate friends!

Pixie said...

p.s. When are you planning to join Jen's foodie blogroll??

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful! With a cake like that, who needs Valentine's!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Great-looking cake!

Maria♥ said...

Lovely looking cake and one I think my 15yr old son would love!

Btw great blog ;o)


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Chocolate & orange remind me of one of my favourites Terry's Chocolate Oranges that I get in my stocking at Christmas. Did I just mention the "C" word...forgive me :D Your cake does look amazing :D

Anonymous said...

mm..chocolate and orange! You have a fantastic talent for food blogging. Great job.

Pixie said...

You've been awarded!

Ivy said...

Indigo, you must be a real indigo to make all these beautiful creations at such an age. My daughter is 16 and can make only a couple of easy things. Congratulations on your award from Pixie.

Anna said...

Oh wow - thankyou so much everyone for commenting! I've just found out about the award from Pixie so I'm still a bit overexcited, heh. Thanks everyone, and of course Pixie especially (I'm frantically printing history coursework now, so I'll post properly tomorrow ^__^).

(By the way - The foodie blogroll?!? Haha, you'll have to wait for that, I think =P)

Cakelaw said...

Hi, I found your blog through Pixie - congrats on the "excellent" award. This cake looks great - can't go wrong with orange and chocolate.

Anonymous said...

Gosh you're such a bundle of talent! I can see you having your own bakery before you turn twenty! I was burning my cookies when I was your age! It took me a while to get where you are and I'm much older!

Rosie said...

Hi Indigo, my first visit here from Pixies blog. Congratulations on your excellent award very much deserving as you have an amazing site here!! :D

I am adding your site link to my Blogroll because now I have found you I can keep visiting!! :D

Your cake looks not only delicious but what great flavours you are so right a great pairing indeed!!

Rosie x

Abitofafoodie said...

Beautiful-looking cake! Chocolate and orange are perfect partners, aren't they? Definately all anyone could want on Valentine's Day.