Iron Chef Shellie

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Theme 2: Citrus Cookbook Used: Kitchen – Recipes from the Heart of the Home Author: Nigella Lawson It’s only the second theme of the cookbook challenge and I’m already falling behind. Oh well, better late than never! This cake by Nigella is so good, even my temperamental oven did a good job! This cake is...


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Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
February 4, 2011

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Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Theme 2: Citrus
Cookbook Used: Kitchen – Recipes from the Heart of the Home
Author: Nigella Lawson

It’s only the second theme of the cookbook challenge and I’m already falling behind. Oh well, better late than never!

This cake by Nigella is so good, even my temperamental oven did a good job! This cake is so lovely and moist, as well as light and fluffy. Hamsley called it the jaffa cake. The orange flavour isn’t over powering, it is just right.

I will definitely be making this again, and I suggest you give it a try yourself!

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

Nigella Lawson

(to my American friends, see the comments below for a translation of the ingredients and measurements)

150g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
2 x 15ml tbsp golden syrup
175g dark muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
25g best-quality cocoa powder, sifted
2 eggs
zest 2 oranges and juice of 1

1 x 900g (2lb) loaf tin

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan oven/gas mark 3 and line your loaf tin with baking parchment or a paper loaf-tin liner.

2. Beat the already soft butter with the syrup – if you dab a little oil on your tablespoon measure with a sheet of kitchen roll, the syrup shouldn’t stick to the spoon – and the sugar until you have a fairly smooth caffé Americano cream, though the sugar will always have a bit of grit about it.

3. Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa powder together, and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tbsp of these dry ingredients before beating in 1 egg. Then add another couple of spoonfuls of the dry ingredients before beating in the second egg.

4. Carry on beating in the remaining dry ingredients and then add, still beating, the orange zest and finally, gradually, the juice. At this stage, the batter may suddenly look dimpled as if slightly curdled. No need to panic!

5. Pour and scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, though check 5 minutes before and be prepared to keep it in the oven 5 minutes longer if need be. . A cake tester won’t come out entirely clean, as the point of this cake, light though it may be, is to have just a hint of inner gunge. Leave to cool a little in the tin on a wire rack, then turn out with care and leave on the rack to cool.

Make ahead note: the cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in clingfilm and store in airtight container. Will keep for 5 days in total.

Freeze note: The cake can be frozen, tightly wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature.

Cuts into 10-12 slices.



29 comments on “Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake
  1. Mez

    yummmmmmmmmmm yum yum yummmmmmmmmmm!!! will def give this a go, H keeps trying to get me to make some full blown chocolate thing from his own cookbook. It’s FAR too hard for me though, he thinks it’s easy :/ :/ :/

    February 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm
  2. Kayla

    This cake looks so moist and yummy !! My oven is pretty temperamental too, but if this really works, maybe I should try it too!

    February 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm
  3. Esz

    Ooh boy that looks fantastic. I’m currently very obsessed with cocoa – Almost gone through a whole box of Dutch cocoa in a week!

    I’ve made dark choc melting moments with mint buttercream. This came about after eyeing some off at the deli near work and then thinking – “heck, I’m not paying $3 for one when they’ll be dead easy to make”

    The other thing I made was a super decadent cherry pie with dark choc shortcrust. I used Jamie Olivers shortcrust recipe and subbed some flour for cocoa. The pastry really is fantastic! It was almost cake-like and held up very well without being the slightest bit dry or hard.

    February 5, 2011 at 12:11 am
  4. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    This looks so good Shellie! I’ve only recently become a chocolate and orange fan, so this sounds deliciousssssss

    February 5, 2011 at 6:09 am
  5. Fresh and Foodie

    Yum! What a gorgeous, moist cake. I love Nigella, too.

    February 5, 2011 at 6:33 am
  6. American Chocolate Lover

    What is Golden Syrup and what is muscavado sugar?? Also what does 2 x 15ml tbsp golden syrup mean? 2 tablespoons or 30 ml (total). Sorry from the US, so not used to metric measurements.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:43 am
    • Iron Chef Shellie

      I had another Amercian foodie ask me the same! see below:
      1 ¼ stick (10 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
      dab flavourless vegetable oil for greasing
      2 tablespoons golden syrup (such as Lyle’s) or dark corn syrup
      1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
      1 cup all purpose flour
      ½ teaspoon baking soda
      3 tablespoons best quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
      2 eggs
      zest 2 regular oranges and juice of 1
      1 x 2 pound loaf tin

      February 5, 2011 at 9:53 am
      • Rachel

        Thanks for translating for us Americans! I think I’ll bake this sometime soon. I LOVE chocolate and orange together.

        February 5, 2011 at 10:03 am
  7. Leah

    Im a big fan of chocolate and orange together. I will have to try this loaf out soon, but it will have to be after this horrible heat wave.

    February 5, 2011 at 8:57 am
  8. Hannah

    I like the chocolate part, and the loaf cake part, and the muscovado sugar part… but I would have to leave out the orange. Sorry ICS/Nigella! 😛

    February 5, 2011 at 9:08 am
    • Conor @ HoldtheBeef

      hehe, scanned through the comments for yours… well done for holding yourself back with the vitriol 😉

      February 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm
  9. Michelle

    I don’t really fancy chocolate orange blocks but I don’t mind chocolate orange themed desserts

    February 5, 2011 at 10:40 am
  10. Celeste @ Berrytravels

    This looks amazing. On my to-bake list now, I have everything ready except the citrus part so definitely going to go pick some oranges up now!

    February 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  11. penny aka jeroxie

    Like you said. Better late than never 🙂

    February 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm
  12. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    This looks SO good Shellie! I love Nigella and I LOVE the combination of chocolate orange.

    Definitely better late than never…and worth the wait 😉

    February 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm
  13. Cherrie

    I have this book and I am going to make this now. It looks so moist and light.

    February 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm
  14. angie

    Yummo! Jaffa loaf indeed! =D

    February 6, 2011 at 12:27 am
  15. The Food Mentalist

    This looks so good and one of my favourite food combinations is dark chocolate and orange so this is definitely on my list of yummy things to bake now!

    February 6, 2011 at 9:39 am
  16. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    orange and chocolate together does seem to be rather a love or hate situation. I happen to LOVE it! thanks for the recipe and review. I love working with muscovado sugar.
    Heidi xo

    February 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm
  17. Adrian in Food Rehab

    So nice and dense. This with a bowl of whipped cream and a couch would be happy days!!

    February 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm
  18. Johanna GGG

    what a delicious cake – now that’s the way I love to eat an orange

    February 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm
  19. Susan

    This looks delicious. I love a chocolate orange combination, which reminds me that I haven’t had any orange balls from Darrell Lea in quite some time. I must rectify this soon!

    February 8, 2011 at 9:23 am
  20. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I still haven’t bought a copy of Nigella Kitchen-terrible isn’t it! But this looks delicious and very moist and light!

    February 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm
  21. Sarah

    That looks so incredibly moist.

    March 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm
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