Chocolate orange marble cake with orange curd icing

I promised I’d share this recipe a little while ago on my Orange and lemon curd blog but hadn’t gotten around it until today. I’ve been hanging onto this little bit of paper onto which I scribbled the ingredients for the cake and was overjoyed when I found it today on one of my cleaning missions. I thought I’d better write it up before I lose the bit of paper again.

My partner loves Chocolate-orange together in any form of dessert. So for his birthday, I decided I’d make a chocolate orange cake. Since I didn’t want to mess up on the day, I thought I’d give it a trial run first. The trial run was extremely successful both at home and in the office (yes, I am on a secret mission to fatten my colleagues – shhh….). I didn’t however make it for his birthday as he decided he wanted something different. I will write about the actual birthday cake at a later date.

With most recipes, my first port of call is the interwebs. There are hundreds of recipes for chocolate orange cakes and hundreds more for marbled cake. I looked up so many of them but nothing seemed to match the image I had in my head. Nothing, until this Pumpkin Marbled cake by Sabine from Berry Lovely.

I am not keen on food colouring so I really liked Sabine’s use of pumpkin in this recipe. Unfortunately, the only pumpkins I could buy here were really huge and it isn’t a popular vegetable in the house. So, I decided to use carrots to impart the orange colour to my marbled cake.  Here is my take on Sabine’s take on a recipe from Sunset Magazine.

Chocolatey-orangey and very edible!

Chocolatey-orangey and very edible!

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Easy-peasy Irish soda bread

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine took ill and had to go to the hospital. She was half Irish and half Dutch and was going through a bit of a tough time in hospital while doctors tried to work out what was wrong with her. I decided to go to visit her and thought I’d take her something that would remind her of her home(s). That was the first time I made Irish soda bread. I took her some fresh soda bread and Dutch Gouda amongst other things. She enjoyed it while the rest in her ward eyed the food basket with jealousy. I wish I could say the bread fixed her but unfortunately no, the doctors did 🙂

The recipe I use is this really lovely, easy and idiot-proof one from the website for the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda BreadI promise I’m not making the name up – scroll down to the “White Soda Bread” part for their recipe.

This recipe is so easy that I whipped it up in an hour before I left to work this morning. I was up at 7 am, the dough was ready by 7:15 am, the “closed-baking” was done by 7:45 am and the “open-baking” was done by 8:00 am and at 8:05 am, I was slathering a slice of bread with some Flora spread. Yummy, warm, soda bread!

Do try this recipe and tell me what you think at canwehavesomerasam@gmail.com!

Irish soda bread

Irish soda bread

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Cherry Ripe truffles

If you are from Australia or lived in Australia, you will know about these chocolate bars called Cherry Ripe. They are easily available in Australia but are hard to come by even in the neighbouring country of New Zealand. These pleasurable bars contain a filling of coconut and cherries and an outer casing of chocolate. More recently, there has been a “Dark” Cherry ripe where the outer casing is made of dark chocolate and it is awesome. You might think a Bounty bar is the best thing in the world if you like coconut but you’ve tasted nothing until you’ve tasted a Cherry ripe.

Clearly, I have love goggles for this chocolate bar and being deprived of it in England makes me crave it even more. Of course, like most things, it isn’t for everyone. For instance, if you hate coconut or just dessicated coconut – this bar ain’t for you. If you hate candied cherries, yet again, this bar will fail you. Everyone loves chocolate (right) so I’m not going to bring up people who don’t (because they don’t exist) but if you are allergic to chocolate, then again, this isn’t for you.

I was going through a Cherry ripe craving and thought if I couldn’t find any here, I’d make them (the kind of attitude my maternal grandma has). I surfed the interwebs for some recipes and found inspiration in ones by Dan Lepard, Irena, Cadbury® (makers of Cherry Ripe)  and a clever truffle coating technique by Steph. Overall though, the dark chocolate cherry truffles are MY PRECIOUSES (insert Gollum voice here)…….Funnily enough, I enjoyed making them but I couldn’t get myself to eat one until 2 days later. I was in fear of being let down by my take on the legend that Cherry Ripe. I made them on New Year’s eve and they were all gone in the week and got the stamp of approval from my partner so I think I did fine.

Commercial and my cherry ripes

Commercial Cherry Ripe bars and my cherry ripe truffles

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