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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Chocolate orange mousse or Jaffa mousse

I haven’t posted recently and that’s because the English summer FINALLY made an appearance, if only for a week. So rather than my usual pose on the sofa with the laptop on my lap, I chose to spend it outside. I went for rambles (walks) with my partner and his parents, had lunch in the sun and sat in a park and read my book – all to soak in some sunshine and warmth. It was just lovely.

But today, predictably, the English clouds have set in and it’s windy and the right weather to start whinging all over again.As a result, I’m back inside, with my laptop for company. I also think, it is about time I wrote another blog. I promised I’d give you the recipe for chocolate orange souffle last time and here it is.

Chocolate orange is a flavour combination I’ve come to love. Here in England, you get a “Jaffa cakes” and mini jaffas which are choc-orange covered biscuits/little sponge biscuits. My partner loves them and I will occasionally have an indulgent bite or two. I have posted an easy choc-orange souffle recipe before and this one is mousse version of these lovely flavours. I saw a recipe for Chocolate orange Pots in the book “New Bistro” by Fran Warde (http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Bistro-Fran-Warde/dp/1845333306). At the same time, I saw another book with a recipe for chocolate mousse. I thought to combine the two recipes to make Chocolate orange mousse.

Chocolate orange mousse in teacups

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Quick and dirty: Chocolate orange soufflé

It was our anniversary and given that we were going away for the weekend, I decided to have a special 3-course meal on Friday night. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a slow cook and my partner usually patiently waits till 8pm for dinner to be served. Given this was a 3-course experiment and I still wanted to keep it within a reasonable time, I chose some easy recipes. The “feast” consisted of field mushrooms tossed in sage butter with garlic bread, vegetable and feta puff pastry and choc-orange soufflé.

The mushrooms were easy and took the better part of  10 minutes. The puff pastry, I’d prepared that morning, so all I had to do was bung it in the oven. The souffle was something I’d never made before and was a bit nervous about. So I set off on a hunt for easy soufflé recipes. Why choc-orange ? I’d promised, months ago, that they’d be a choc-orange cake for our anniversary but clearly hadn’t gotten organised enough to make it. So this was a quick and dirty replacement. The outcome was pretty good for a first attempt. I don’t have many pictures because I was rushed remember ?

This recipe was inspired by  http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art7035.asp and uses ingredients available at local corner store. By the way, we did have dinner before 8pm and enjoyed it immensely. Do try this recipe and tell me what you think…

My first souffle : Chocolate-orange or jaffa

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Madeleines : Lemon & rose water or Orange & vanilla

At work, we have this tradition of bringing back goodies from a holiday/conference destination. It was one such occasion  that someone came back from France and brought back these little, buttery, shell-shaped parcels of goodness. I can’t say I have seen them in the UK very often (surprised anyone ?) but I learnt their name – Madeleines. Since that day I’ve been wanting to make them. I decided to demand a Madeleine tray for a birthday present and it was dutifully delivered by my partner. As a thank you present, I decided to make some the following weekend.

I looked around for a few recipes and settled on David Leibovitz’s one for proportions. I got tips on how to get the browned butter taste/smell into the madeleines  from the Asutralian SBS website. The inspiration for orange flavoured ones came from Chez Pim  though I didn’t actually use her recipe. Finally, the rose water was my little addition to the lemon madeleines. Hope you try them and like them – we sure did. I gave a whole batch and half away and everyone who received it loved it too.

Fresh madeleines anyone?

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