Chocolate Orange Cake and Sunday Shenanigans

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How gorgeous is this location !

I dragged my hubbie to watch the horse trials at Floors Castle on Sunday, and according to him ” they were all guilty”. Groan……. him and his naff jokes. He says this one every time about horse trials.

 

He isn’t overly enamoured with horses ( to be honest most farmers/ agric’s I’ve met aren’t and he often refers to them as hay burners! ) so to appease him whilst there I treated him to a hog roast, which he said wasn’t as good as mine! Awww hubbie is a sweetie. I was very pleased with that compliment. He also got ice cream, which keep him quiet for all of 10 seconds.

Once home, I also decided to make him a cake to thank him for spending the whole day surrounded by horses. Cake is definitely the way we show love in our house! He loves chocolate oranges and chocolate orange flavoured desserts so I decided to make Chocolate Orange Cake. It is also a cake that I always have the ingredients for and its so simple to whip up that I don’t actually need to look at a written recipe,however due to this I’m not entirely sure were it originally came from. I have a feeling it could be a Nigella recipe but from which book or show I’m not sure! Also apart from the 50 mins cooking time, it really takes no time at all to make.

Now if you don’t like orange or marmalade then this is not the cake for you unless you substitute the marmalade for another kind of preserve or jam. Although I haven’t yet done this so not sure which flavours would work best,maybe raspberry or strawberry would work well with the dark chocolate or even substituting the dark choc for white choc along with the raspberry jam would add a whole new dynamic. Plenty ways to jazz this one up to suit individual tastes.

Ingredients

150 grams of butter, 100 grams of dark chocolate, 2 beaten eggs, 150 grams of caster sugar, pinch of salt, 300 grams of thick cut marmalade ( I prefer thick cut so you get lovely bits of yummy marmalade dotted throughout the cake) , 150 grams of self raising flour, tablespoon of icing sugar- see, very easy to remember!

Pre-heat  oven to 180°C and grease a 8 inch cake tin.

In a saucepan start to melt the butter, then once nearly melted add the chocolate. Take off the heat and stir until the chocolate is melted. Then add the beaten eggs, sugar, salt and marmalade and mix until well combined. The mixture does appear quite lumpy at this point but that’s just the marmalade, no need to worry. Then add the flour in small amounts to the mixture and whisk until combined. See, very simple recipe!

Once combined add the mixture to your cake tin and bake for between 40-50 mins.

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Remove from oven, leave to cool and remove from cake tin. Using a sieve give the top of the cake a dusting with icing sugar. Then serve with a cuppa and enjoy.

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Valentines Day, DONE.

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Guinness Cake with Strawberries and a little bit of cream ( I don’t like too much)

My hubbie and I don’t tend to celebrate Valentines day, and we rarely get each other cards and prezzies or go out for a romantic meal. We figure we can go out any other time of the year, and we don’t need a specific day to tell each other , ” I love you”.

However, this year I did ask what my hubbie wanted for supper and said I would do all the cooking.  So he decided on Pulled Pork, Crash Potatoes, Broccoli and Cauliflower bake followed by Guinness Cake. I had never made Pulled Pork or Guiness cake before so this was going to be interesting. I’m not that confident in cooking large cuts of meat, but here we go….

I used a recipe by Pioneer Woman for Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork. However, I could not get a hold of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce at short notice ( I noted that you can buy this on Amazon however it would not have been delivered on time) and I trawled the internet looking for substitutes and was not really happy with substitute suggestions I found. So I decided to see what my local supermarket had to offer, but wasn’t really holding my breath as my local Tesco is pretty poor for choices. However,  I spotted a Spicy Chipotle chilli sauce by Wahaca Mexican Street food ( 150ml bottle) and decided to use this instead.

Preheat Oven to 150°C. I cut half an onion into quarters and placed it in the bottom of a dutch oven/ casserole dish, then placed a small pork loan joint on top (There was only the two of us, so this will do for 2 nights of meals for us).

Sorry, there isn’t a lot of photos taken during the cooking stage as 1) my camera was covered with chocolate from the Guinness Cake 2) the cooking of the pulled pork was pretty simple ( even for me).

I then covered the joint with some salt and black pepper then poured the chipotle chilli sauce all over the joint. I followed this with a 500ml bottle of Dr Pepper, then covered with the lid and placed in the oven.

I checked it every hour and turned every hour for about 4 hours. Half way through I added more Dr Pepper, about 250mls as the sauce was drying up a little.

After it came out of the oven I used two forks and pulled it apart ( oh and cut off the string that was holding it together you don’t want to eat that!).

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Oh my goodness how yummy is this?
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This was my husbands portion that he served himself ( I was on the phone and he couldn’t wait for me to come off the phone and serve it and make it look pretty). He is a farmer and rugby player so he does need the calories!

The Guinness Cake

I made this the night before, using a Nigella Recipe.

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Melted chocolate and butter

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Then add 250ml of Guinness  (you could probably use any stout or Ale ) to a pan along with 250 grams of butter and heat on low until butter melted.

Whisk in 75 grams of cocoa powder and 400 grams of caster sugar.

In a separate jug I mixed the 142ml sour cream, 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon of vanilla and then added to the Guinness/butter mixture.

Finally I whisked in the 275 grams flour and 2 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda.

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Sour cream/egg/vanilla mixture combined with chocolate/butter

I poured the mixture into a 9 inch springform pan that was greased and lined. However I did not have enough baking paper, so instead of cutting a circle piece and a separate piece for the sides I had to use one square and crunch it into the tin covering the bottom and sides. Hence the not so smooth sides of the cake that you can see!

My husband then “cleaned “the pan for me and by that I mean he sat on the sofa watching the Six Nations while scraping/ eating the chocolate/Guinness Mixture from the pan!

This was placed in the oven for 45 minutes, however after this time it wasn’t ready so I placed back in for another 7 minutes until the cake tester ( or knife) came out clean. Although when I took mine out it sagged in the middle, not sure why it does th?? Oh well, I was covering it in icing anyway so it doesn’t really matter.

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Ready for the Oven

I then left the cake to cool and started on the icing for the top.

ICING

300 grams of cream cheese, whipped in a mixing bowl, then 150 grams of icing sugar was sifted over the top of the mixture and then beaten together. 125 ml double cream was added and the mixture was again beaten together until mixture was of a consistency that I would spread on top of the cake.

This was a really simple recipe to make, even for an incompetent cook like myself and it tasted lovely and looked fairly impressive ( if I do say so myself). I would recommend this if you want an easy simple quick cake that still has a bit of wow about it

I served this cake with strawberries and cream in front of a roaring fire. Very romantic!