Monday, 27 September 2010

Chocolate Orange Crumb Cake

This could so easily have been a disaster! A last minute panic after a day of indecision about what to cook left me no time to chop chocolate or nuts, no time to bring the butter up to room temperature and no time to faff about with a complicated recipe. So after a short burst of microwaves for the butter, all the ingredients for this cake were thrown into one bowl and beaten until smooth. I also had to bake with the fan on, as I was starting to cook dinner while the cake was baking - I much prefer to bake cakes in a conventional oven.

Fortunately things worked out OK. Thanks to the yogurt, the cake crumb was moist and close textured, but still light. In an ideal world I would have added more chocolate chips to the cake mixture (I only had 50g), but the chocolate crumb topping helped the balance between chocolate and orange flavours.The cake was still warm when the CT ate his first slice, but I told him to think of it as a pudding!


Crumb Topping
Melt 55g butter in a bowl in the microwave, then add 50g caster sugar, 70g plain flour and 20g cocoa. Mix with a fork until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

Cake
Put the following ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth. 150g unsalted butter (softened), 150g caster sugar, 3 medium eggs, finely grated zest of 1 large orange, 225g SR flour, 80g natural yogurt. Stir in 50-100g plain chocolate chips.

Transfer the cake batter to an 8"(20cm) prepared springform tin, level the top then use your fingers to break the topping mix into crumbs and scatter it evenly over the surface. Bake at 180C(160C fan) for 60-65 minutes or until a test probe comes out clean and dry.

13 comments:

Foodycat said...

For a near-disaster, this looks wonderful!

Lucie said...

This looks great - what a good recovery!

Alice said...

It does look great, I am really getting into this whole using oranges or lemons as a dessert flavouring at the moment. Orange cake sounds so delicious.

Debs said...

Oh how I love chocolate & orange together. You always make your posts so much more interesting with your honesty which we don't see often enough from others.

Suelle said...

Debs - I don't see the point in pretending things go well when they don't. I rarely need to throw anything away as inedible, but I often think it could be better!

Choclette said...

This looks lovely Suelle and a lovely combination of flavours.

I keep meaning to ask you, have you ever made a pave? I had a chocolate pave in a cafe once and it was lovely, but haven't managed to find a recipe that looks much like it.

Suelle said...

Choclette - I haven't made a pave, and a quick look at the first results on a Google search seems to suggest there are as many recipes as there are cooks! Some are set with gelatine and some are cooked, so at first glance it seems to be a name which doesn't mean much. I have an online friend who is a knowledgeable classic cook - I'll see if he can help, although a classic recipe may still not bear much relationship to what you ate.

Suelle said...

Further to my reply above, Choclette - pavé really just refers to the shape (square) so the only way of reproducing what you ate is to ask the chef for the recipe!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

This certainly is not a disaster. It looks so fantastic, so lush, and really fantastic combination of flavours. Great crumble idea on top too

Suelle said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. I was pretty confident that the basic proportions of the cake were right, but then, I've thought that before and had things not turn out as exoected!;)

Choclette said...

Suelle - thanks for checking. About the only thing I do know about it was that it wasn't a square (and it was cooked) - hey ho!

Donna said...

Can I ask as quite a novice baker - why do you prefer a conventional oven to fan assisted? Does it make a difference to the way the cake bakes?

Thanks.

Suelle said...

Donna - it may be my imagination, as other people don't report the same problems, but I think large cakes which cook for more than 40 minutes (roughly) rise better in a conventional oven. My theory is that the forced convection of hot air by the fan dries out, and sets, the surface too soon, and this prevents the raw batter underneath rising to it's full potential. For small cakes, scones, biscuits and things which cook quickly, this doesn't seem to happen.