March 2012

Chocolate Orange Cake

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

Prepartion Time
Total Time

I had hoped to get this posted earlier today so that you could all make this delicious cake for your mothers, but the internet has been conspiring against me here in Denmark and I am only getting a chance to post it now.

But with the bank holiday tomorrow, maybe some of you will make this for your mums as an extra treat for Mothers' Day.

This cake recipe comes from Asda's monthly magazine. A work colleague happened to have a copy of the January issue, which contained this cake and a lot of other delicious orange recipes. Of course I quickly copied out the ones that most appealed to me, including this cake.

The really interesting thing about this cake, apart from being gluten free, is that the sugar is added to the egg whites before they are folded into the main mixture. I have made many no-flour cakes before, but I have never seen this method used. However, I can tell you that the result of this technique is a very light and fluffy cake. Though I would be very interested if someone can explain the science behind this.

Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa solids)
Ground Almonds
Oranges (zest and juice)
Orange Juice (from oranges)
2 tbsp
Caster Sugar
Cocoa Powder
to decorate
Icing Sugar
to decorate
Other Requirements

Deep 23cm cake tin (Spring-form is best), glass bowl, saucepan, 2 mixing bowls, fine grater or zester, spatula, and whisk

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Grease your cake tin thoroughly. If you think it needs it, line the base of the tin with parchment paper, though I didn't bother, I just went heavy on the greasing! A word of advice, don't use a silicone tin for this cake. I did the first time I made it and the cake broke when I turned it out. Stick to metal tin!

Break the chocolate into a glass or otherwise heatproof bowl and add the butter.

Make a bain maire by placing the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Keep the heat low so that the chocolate melts nice and slowly.

While the chocolate is melting, separate the eggs into the 2 mixing bowls. Add the ground almonds to the yolks. You can watch a video of me separating eggs here.

Zest the two oranges and add to the yolk and almond mixture.

Juice the oranges and add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the mixture. Stir everything up together into a paste.

By this stage the chocolate should be melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a minute before adding it to the orange mixture.

Mix the chocolate in as thoroughly as possible. Leave the mixture to one side while you work on the egg whites.

Measure out the sugar into a bowl and whisk up the egg whites to soft peaks.

When the egg whites reach perfect peakiness, add the sugar a little at a time, whisking between each addition until it has all been added and you achieve a meringue-like consistency.

Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture a spoonful at a time. Use a gentle figure-of-eight movement to best combine the mixtures. While mixing, try not to tap the edge of the bowl with your spoon or spatula as it will cause some of the air to come out of the mix and you want to keep as much air as possible in it to help it rise.

Pour the combined mixture into the greased cake tin, smooth the top and put into the hot oven to bake for 35 - 40 mins, until a skewer comes out of the mixture clean.

When the cake is cooked, leave it to cool in the tin for 10 mins. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Decorate the cake with either sieved cocoa powder or icing sugar or both.

Tricolour Marmalade

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

Prepartion Time
Total Time

Happy St. Patrick's Day! This year I am hiding out from the Irish extravaganza in Denmark, visiting relatives, but I still have a (somewhat) patriotic recipe up my sleeve.

We've just come to the end of the Seville orange season and therefore the end of marmalade season. Last year for my first ever attempt to make marmalade and I found this article by Felicity Cloake to be incredibly useful. In fact, it was so useful that it forms the basis of my own Tricolour Marmalade recipe, a three fruit marmalade that contains all the colours of the Irish flag (see the tenuous Paddy's Day link yet?)

In this recipe I've just put in the total weight for the citrus fruit needed. I made up my kilo of fruit with 3 Seville oranges, 3 limes and 4 lemons but you can try a different combination. You also need to add an additional lemon, which I listed separately to the rest of the fruit.

You can also try making a plain Seville marmalade or a three fruit marmalade made with grapefruit or even a ginger and orange marmalade. The choice is endless!

Citrus Fruit (Seville oranges, limes, lemons)
1 kg
2.5 l
1 kg
Muscavado Sugar (Light)
Other Requirements

A large pot, sieve, a large square of muslin or muslin bag knife, elastic band, saucers or small plates, lots of jam jars and lids.

First assemble all your fruit (including the additional lemon) and cut it in half. Squeeze the fruit into your large pot, making sure that you have a sieve in place to catch the pith and pips.

Pull off the rest of the pith using your fingers and a knife, so that you're left with peel that has very little flesh left on it.

Put all the pith and the pips collected in the sieve into your muslin bag or into the centre of your square of muslin and seal up with an elastic band.

Add the water to the large pot and put in the bag of pith and pips. Leave to one side while you prepare the peel.

Using a sharp knife shred the peel of the fruit into the size of pieces that you prefer. Personally, I like a mixture of fine and thick peel.

Add the peel to the pot and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 2 hours until the peel gets soft.

After the 2 hours, remove the muslin bag from the pot and allow to cool in a bowl. It will take a minimum of 30 mins for the bag to cool enough for you to handle, unless you have heatproof gloves or asbestos hands. At this point you can leave the marmalade to stand overnight.

While you're waiting for the bag to cool, prepare the jam jars as in my Apple Butter recipe.

Once the bag is cool enough to handle, squeeze it so that lots of goop comes out. You want to squeeze out as much of this as possible into your marmalade mixture. Do be careful during the squeezing that none of the rough contents of the bag escape.

Once you squeezed lots of goop into the pot, bring the marmalade mixture back to the boil and add the sugar.

Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and bring to the boil. Do be careful during this part, as boiling sugar is dangerous. If you have a sugar thermometer, now is the time to use it.

While the marmalade is coming to the boil but a set of saucers into the fridge, so they get nice and cold. This is to help tell when the marmalade is ready.

When the marmalade reaches 104°C, or, if you don't have a thermometer, after the mixture has vigorously boiled for 15 mins, take a spoonful of the mixture and put it on to one of the cold plates and put it back in the fridge for 5 mins. If the marmalade is ready, the marmalade will wrinkle when you push your finger through it. After the initial boil, try the marmalade every 5 mins until you get the wrinkle.

Once the marmalade is ready, let it stand for 15 mins before ladling it into the warm jam jars you have in the oven.

Clean the jars and seal them. Leave the jars to cool and you can label them. Check out Jamlabelizer for cool labels.

You can eat the marmalade the next day, but it tastes much better if you leave it for a couple of weeks.