Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Chocolate and Orange Torte Cake with Caramelised Oranges

Cake, fruit and chocolate are three of my favourite things. I've literally become addicted to making chocolate cake lately, I love it! I have so many recipes and this one is the latest addition courtesy of Rachel Allen's new book called 'Cake'. There's no flour or ground almonds so it's also gluten free which is a bonus if you like that kind of thing. :)

Chocolate and orange torte with caramelised oranges (adapted from 'Cake' by Rachel Allen)

150g (5oz) Kerrygold Butter
300g (11oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
5 eggs separated
50g (2oz) golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 small oranges

For the caramelised orange slices to serve 
4 oranges
125g caster sugar

20cm (8") springform or loose bottomed cake tin

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas mark 4 and butter the base and sides of the cake tin.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar until it's pale and thick. It can take about 5 mins using an electric whisk.
4. Fold in the melted chocolate and the orange zest and mix until it's combined.
5. Whisk together the egg whites and the other half of the sugar until they are stiff and glossy. I find this easiest in my food processor, but if you don't have one, use a clean bowl and an electric mixer. This takes a little longer than the egg yolks.
6. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to beat to hard so that you don't lose too much air but so that it is all combined.
7. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until it's puffed up and slightly cracked around the edges. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully remove from the tin and onto a serving plate.
8. While the cake is cooling, make the caramelised oranges.

Caramelised oranges.
1. Using a small sharp knife, peel the oranges, cutting away the two ends first and then the peel and pith in a spiral until you only have the flesh showing. Work over a bowl to catch the juices.
2. Cut the peeled oranges into 5mm slices (1/4in) then add these to the orange juice.
3. Place the sugar and 75ml (3floz) of water in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Stir the mixture to bring to the boil. Without stirring, continue to boil uncovered for about 5 minutes until you have a deep whiskey-coloured caramel. You can swirl the ban to make sure it browns evenly. Be careful to keep a close eye on this as I burnt my first mixture!
4. Pour a further 75ml (3floz) of water and swirl over the pan over a low heat, then add the oranges and juice and leave to cool.

Add the slices to the chocolate cake and serve.

This cake was tasty and lasts quite a few days. I experimented with the caramelised oranges and made a couple of batches. As I said, I accidentally burnt my first attempt so the second time around I didn't leave it that long to caramelise. The result was a light tasting juice that went really well with the cake. I then put the remaining slices & juice back on the fire and let it caramelise a bit more (maybe another 5-8 mins). It was a sweeter richer flavour and also quite nice. It depends what you like really, the cake is very rich with a deep chocolate flavour so I think the lighter juice worked best for me, but it's a matter of taste.

Anyways, I hope you try this out, you can also serve it with cream. You can also get more great Kerrygold recipes from the Kerrygold Facebook page. 

Peace & Love

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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Tate & Lyle Tasting House

One of the cool things about being a blogger is that I get invited to launches and other events. I'm usually too busy to go along to them but a couple of weeks ago I got an invite to the press night for Tate & Lyle's Tasting House in Central London. 

From the Caribbean room - all edible!

To celebrate the launch of their new range of golden and brown cane sugars, they put together an amazing Hansel & Gretel style house, filled with edible delights, curated by the talented Ms Cupcake and a team of master bakers. You can see more about the house on the Tate & Lyle blog, (click here).

Some of the things I took home!

Obviously an invite to a house full of cake was not something you're ever too busy for, so I made sure I went! I didn't realise that it wasn't a public event though & I was busy tweeting everyone telling them to get down there - whoops!

Anyways, it was really spectacular & I went home with a bag full of tasty goodies! Check out some of the photos from the evening.

Pillows made from cake (photo courtesy of Mischief PR)

(photo courtesy of Mischief PR)

(photo courtesy of Mischief PR)

A bath full of popcorn (photo courtesy of Mischief PR)

Me tucking into a 5ft long rainbow cake! 

Goodies for my doggy bag!

An edible sugar flower display 

Part of a rug made entirely of meringue

Me slightly overwhelmed with just how much cake there is!
I can't wait to try out the sugars themselves. Watch this space! :)

Peace & Love


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Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Nest Cakes

Happy (belated) Easter! I hope you all had a lovely time. I am just finishing up a very rare (and partly forced) week off work. I think my body went into melt down and I ended up in bed for most of it, but I did manage to do some baking and got stuck into my latest book called "Cake" by Rachel Allen.

My sister is a huge Rachel Allen fan & already has some of her books. The interesting thing about Rachel (as we're on first name terms and that), is that she swears by Kerry Gold butter. I must confess that I never really use it for baking as I always stick to unsalted butter, which Kerry Gold don't do. In any case I thought I would give it a shot and have been baking up a storm with some really delicious recipes.

Today, I'm going to share these Easter nests as they are tasty in their own right but cool as cupcake toppers. I had hoped to share this at the beginning of the week, in time for Easter, but I guess you can take this as an early Easter gift for next year! :)

Easter Nests 

150g (3 1/2oz) dark or milk chocolate (I used Galaxy) broken into pieces
4 Shredded Wheat
1/4 tsp butter
Mini chocolate eggs

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until just melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.
3. Crumble the Shredded Wheat and add them to the chocolate mixture until they are fully coated.
4. Use approximately 2 teaspoons of the mixture to make each nest. Use your fingers to form the shape, remembering to leave a small dent in the middle for the mini eggs to rest in. 
5. Add 3 mini eggs to each nest and then leave for about 30 mins to set.

Easy peasy! :)

The nests are resting on some delicious strawberry cupcakes, look out for this lovely Rachel Allen recipe coming soon...

Peace & Love

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