Sunday, 27 January 2013

Chocolate Orange Cake...and not making Marmalade



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. 




Baker's notes...

  • 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.
Random Recipes #23 - December

18 comments:

  1. Ooo yum! I've been toying with some sort of chocolate orange creation for a few weeks now, and I think this is the one! Thank you! Xx
    kickatthepantrydoor.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. What a lovely cake...you can't beat a bit on Nigella! I'm not sure I'll be giving up baking but I am going on a preserving course next weekend so perhaps there's some truth in it! :-)

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  3. I think there is a definite rise in interest in preserving (I know it's something I'm toying with for the first time in my life) but I think it goes hand in hand with baking. Whether it's a delicious jam or marmalade to spread on some toast made with homemade bread, or a choc-full-of fruit filling for a Victoria Sandwich. This cake looks lovely, and would be a great way to use up a glut of marmalade. Chocolate and orange is such a classic combination. :)

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  4. That looks yum kate! from my blog you can see I love this flavour combo. Great decoration + photos.
    If u wanna have a look,who knows u might even want to follow ;)
    http://mycupcakehabit.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. an absolutely stunning looking cake and a wonderful photo... I love this cake and Nigella really has a great recipe with this... strangely i'm not a big pickler or jammer... I guess if stylist says it we must believe!... fab entry this month honey, thank you xx

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  6. Baking's over??? Ho hum, thank goodness I don't care about being trendy!
    Lovely looking cake - your decoration is so simple but so pretty!

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  7. Wow...this is definitely going on my must try baking list!

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  8. I suppose it makes sense that preserves are the "next big thing". Now that everybody can bake a victoria sponge they'll want to make their own jam to fill it with.

    Lovely chocolate orange cake, with or without homemade marmalade!

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  9. Such a pretty cake - love the decoration. It's interesting reading about all the new trends coming up in 2013, but with recipes this tasty to try I think I'll stick to baking!

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  10. chocolate and orange always a winning combination!

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  11. I never seem to find time to make jams and preserves (read can't be bothered and am not hugely interested!) but I can ALWAYS find time to make a cake. This looks divine - good old Nigella :-)

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  12. Not because I want to be seen to be trendy in any way I do enjoy a bit of preserving, but this is largely due to my need to use up all the bits from my allotment. That still doesn't excuse my current obsession with marmalade though! This cake sounds great, especially with added ginger. Baking is the thing that most people I teach still want to learn about most!

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  13. Not quite sure what happened to my previous message - probably sitting on someone else's blogg!! this looks a great cake and perfect for my jars of homemade marmalade!

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  14. I love that cake - it's one of my standby recipes and works well with other preserves too. Love your decoration.

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  15. I've made that cake many a time - it is indeed a great storecupboard standby - and yours looks fantastic!

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  16. Wow, that looks lovely. It's hard to go wrong with Nigella's baking :-)

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  17. You know, I've skipped over this recipe a million times in that book...this looks stunning & so moist! Might have to give this one a go :)

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  18. Chocolate and Orange - nothing beats this combination. It seriously is a match made in heaven!! This cake looks seriously delicious!

    Chloe & Sarah
    www.honeyandlulu.blogspot.com.au

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Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!