Wednesday, 9 December 2009

My chocolate orange cake, a step by step recipe

Hiya everyone, I hope you enjoy cooking and eating my recipe as much as I did.
If you do then if you could let me know then that would be awesome!
This would make a great alternative to christmas pudding if like me and many others that really isn't your thing!


* 250g butter
* 200g plain flour
* 250g caster Sugar
* 4 eggs
* 2 level teaspoons baking powder
* 50g cocoa powder
* 3 unwaxed oranges
* 200g plain chocolate
* 230g double cream


Ganache topping

1. Heat cream but do not boil.
2. Break up chocolate and pour the cream over, leave for a few minutes
3. Stir, if all chocolate is not melted then place over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until there are no lumps left.
4. Place in the fridge for up to 1 1/2 hours until its thickened.


1. Weigh out all your ingredients.
2. Melt your butter for a few seconds in the microwave until its a little bit softer but not melted.
3. Add your sugar and mix together
4. Add your flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix well.
5. Add your eggs, one by one. Mix well
6. Pour into your cake tin and place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees.
7. After 20 minutes, check it because different ovens vary and I know because my cake ended up taking twice as long as normal to cook! Stick a knife in and if it comes out clean then its ready. Leave to cool

Orange drizzle and sweet zest

1. Zest or grate your oranges
2. Juice them using a fork or however you wish
3. Place the juice in a pan with 100g of caster sugar, boil til sugar is dissolved.
4. Place the orange zest in some water and bring to the boil, drain and repeat.
5. Add a small amount of water and some sugar, heat until the sugar has dissolved and the water has gone, set aside.

You do not have to do this step, you can use orange juice from a carton instead of juicing your own and buy candied peel from a store, but fresh is always best!

Now the fun part! Icing the cake!

1. Take out your ganache icing and spread over your cake.
2. Sprinkle over your sweet zest. Done!

Sorry about the blurry photo.
Thanks for reading and remember to let me know what you think.
Ps. I found some silver balls from last christmas and added them to my cake! What do you think?

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Manchester Christmas Markets

So today I got up bright and early and headed to the train station to get on the 10:10am train to manchester. There's awesome christmas markets happening and I just had to go check it out due to the total dissapointment of the one we currently have in sheffield, I mean theres like 6 stalls and they're all german so not much vartiation going on there either.
So yeah I get into manchester and luckily I already know my way around having practically lived there a few years back, I find the markets and they are amazing!
Well worth the
£15.70 train fare.

Theres jewellery stalls, hats, pickles, candy, cheese, meat, mulled wine, spanish, french, german and british cuisine and the smells are just wonderful. I take a look around first, taking a few photos here and there and eventually the aromas are too tempting and I decide on paella for lunch. Theres chicken, squid, mussels and prawn and its delicious and very filling, I leave half and head to another stall and buy a slice of french flan, its sweet and custardy and hits the spot.

This stall also has loads of tasty and smelly cheese, I buy 5 diff
erent varieties including blue, goat and vacherin aswell which I have been meaning to try for a while. I look around the others and buy some salami (7 pieces) some jewellery and some very moreish sugared cashew nuts.

Theres beautiful christmas decorations, carol singers, free tasters and merry people sipping at their hot mulled wine. Anyone who complains about hating christmas would change their mind in an instant after visiting this place and its got
me feeling very jolly and festive indeed.

After looking around all the stalls I go to h&m, primark, topshop and buy various clothes including 3 pairs of thick wooly tights (black, grey and cream) 2 jerseys, some jeggings and a beautiful floral scarf, oh and I also went to the amazing hotel chocolat, they have the best chocolate I have ever tasted, very very good.

When my massive bagpack got too full I decide its time to head home.