Baking is over. Finished. Kaput.
(Ohh, now there's a somewhat dramatic start to a blog post).
But apparently it's very sadly true.
According to Stylist Magazine instead of baking, 2013 is the year of pickling, preserving and smoking food. Inspired by the farmer's market mentality and in a bid to eat seasonally and locally, 'instead of baking or blogging, this year we’ll be turning our hands to smoking our own food (meat, fish and vegetables), pickling and preserving'.
Tom Parker Bowles describes humankind advancing thanks to pickling: 'empires were built on brined meat and pickled fish'. And it appears Britain has gone confiture crazy. Last year saw sales of jam thermometers rise by 17 per cent, jam jars by 37 per cent and jam funnels by 61 per cent at John Lewis.
(Just in case you're in the process of double checking the name of my blog, I promise I'm not about to suddenly move in a brand new, somewhat unexpected non-baking direction with posts discussing the pros of various embalming vinegar and debating on the merits of various flavourings).
While I've experimented with jams and chutneys here on What Kate Baked, each new year I promise myself I will make marmalade. January of course is seville orange season. In Nigel Slater's ode to marmalade, he describes the 'pot or two of bright, shining happiness', adding seville marmalade is 'a taste of the sun on toast'.
And yet here we are, four days before the end of the month and my preserving pan remains shut away at the back of the cupboard, the jam jars I'd saved up continue to gather dust and work, life and generally hibernating has got in the way again.
Instead of a lovely marmalade recipe I'd hoped to post I give you the next best thing- a lovely, easy-peesy to bake chocolate marmalade cake. Which you can make with or without home made marmalade.
This bake was also inspired by Dom from Belleau Kitchen's monthly Random Recipe challenge. This month's theme involves randomly selecting from someone else’s books rather than our own. My friend, a huge Nigella fan, who openly admits to not feeling the need or desire to own any other cookbook, randomly selected Nigella's Storecupboard Chocolate Orange Cake. Complete with a healthy 300g of marmalade.
- I didn't deviate greatly from the original recipe, which can be found in Nigella's How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Page 170 to be exact. My only changes were to add in a couple of teaspoons of ground ginger and decorate with clementine segments and dusting of icing sugar.