Monday, 12 May 2014

A Chocolate Cake for £1: Part 2 - Chocolate Orange Loaf

I wasn't really happy that my first attempt at making a chocolate cake for under £1 (this month's We Should Cocoa challenge) produced something that small children would enjoy as much as adults. While the brownies were rich in chocolate flavour, they didn't look very substantial on the plate and weren't very filling. This cake, called a 'plain family cake' in my cookbook, is more family friendly - the portions are more substantial and filling, as there is a lot more flour in the recipe, and there is a lot less sugar per portion too, which can only be a good thing.

This type of cake goes down the traditional route of producing a chocolate cake - substituting 25g of flour in a recipe for a plain cake with cocoa. I don't think this produces a rich chocolate flavour, but under the circumstances, there wasn't much I could do. I decided to boost the flavour by adding the zest of an orange. I haven't included the cost of this, as the orange itself could still be used in some other way - this may be looked on as cheating, but if you want to include the cost of the orange, you'd have to leave off the frosting to keep the cost below £1*. In that case I would make the cake with the juice of the orange, rather than milk, to boost the flavour.

Once again, I've costed the cake using a non-free-range egg and I've used UHT (long-life) semi-skimmed milk, granulated sugar and a soft baking spread to reduce the costs even more. Hubby actually uses the UHT milk on his breakfast, and reckons he can't tell the difference between that and fresh, so I don't think using it in baking is a problem. As before, I've used prices from ALDI, except for the cocoa and the baking spread, which were bought from Tesco.

Ingredients and cost

215g SR flour (7p)
25g cocoa        (20p)
120g soft baking spread (28p)
1 medium egg  (9p)
100ml milk       (5.5p)
100g granulated sugar (7.5p)
orange zest*
100g icing sugar (15p)
5g cocoa             (4p)


Pre-heat the oven to 170C and prepare a small loaf tin in your usual way.
Sift the flour and 25g cocoa together and rub in the baking spread. Mix in the sugar.
Use a zesting tool to remove about 1/3 of the peel from the orange in thin shreds, and set this aside for decoration. Finely grate the rest of the peel into the bowl containing the mixed dry ingredients.
Add the egg and milk to the dry ingredients and mix to a stiff dough; transfer to the loaf tin and bake for about 75 minutes, or until a test probe comes out clean and dry.
Cool in the tin for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
When cold, mix the icing sugar and 5g cocoa to a thick paste with cold water and spread over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the reserved shreds of orange peel along the centre of the cake to decorate.

Total cost = 96p
This makes 6 portions at 16p per portion, each portion weighing around 125g. 8 smaller portions (around 95g) would cost 12p each.

*The cost would be more or less the same if the orange was included and the frosting left off. The orange was 25p (from a multibuy pack), which is the cost of the frosting and the milk in the cake. There should be 100ml of juice in the orange to replace the milk in the cake batter.

This recipe makes quite a dry, solid cake which isn't very sweet, but I think it's just the thing to keep in the cake tin to feed hungry children after school (if that sort of thing still goes on after the recent demonization of sugar!). Neither the chocolate nor the orange flavour is very strong, but the frosting adds a nice touch of sweetness lacking in the cake. This is something plain and simple which will offend no-one, and for the price provides something more substantial than can be bought!

We Should Cocoa (rules here) is a monthly challenge to produce something made using chocolate and the extra ingredient or theme chosen by that month's host. The challenge is the idea of Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog. Although Choclette often shares hosting duties with various guest hosts, this month's frugal theme of making a chocolate cake for £1 is her idea, and she will be posting a round up of entries at the end of the month.


Baking Addict said...

I like the addition of orange and your clever use of ingredients to keep the cost down. I've yet to work out what I'm doing - I clearly spend a lot on baking products!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Definitely the sort of cake that I'd look forward to, even though I haven't been to school for a long time. Very impressive for less than a pound.

Choclette said...

Making the cakes really chocolatey is the main challenge I think and I don't think it's possible. However, lots of people prefer a light chocolate cake, so this would fit the bill very nicely. Iced too.

Thank you for giving such a detailed account of costings etc. I'm finding this month's challenge very interesting.