Thursday 26 February 2009

Banana, chocolate and lemon cake

Now does that picture look strangely familiar? Well, I enjoyed the chocolate orange version of the cake so much that I wanted to try a chocolate lemon variation as soon as possible. Having over-bought on the bananas a couple of weeks ago, I had some beautifully fragrant bananas sitting in the fruit bowl, and still had enough left after making these chocolate banana cookies to allow me to try out a lemon incarnation of this recipe, originally made for the Sweet and Simple bakes blog event.

I won't say too much more, I followed the recipe in exactly the same way as last time simply substituting the grated zest of a lemon for that of the orange, and upping the chocolate content to 50g rather than 40g (fewer people on diets!), and the cake turned out just as well. Quick and easy and used up my banana mountain.

It went down extremely well at work and disappeared very quickly! The lemon flavour was more subtle than the orange in the previous version, and although chocolate and lemon perhaps don't sound as though they'll work well together, they do in this case because neither flavour is dominant. The cake is light and goes down a treat mid-afternoon as a quick pick-me-up!

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Chocolate orange and vanilla marble cake

May I introduce a little adaptation (I was going to say invention, but that's taking it a little far) all of my own? As you've probably realised if you're a regular reader, I tend to like my cakes to have strict recipes, which I tend to largely observe. However, I had a combination of ingredients to use up this past weekend that required a little creativity on my part.

Having enjoyed the chocolate orange combo in this cake recently, I wanted to repeat it, but wanted to make a much larger cake, and I also needed to use some buttermilk I'd bought with nothing particular in mind (again). It's surprising how many cakes there are which require buttermilk or soured cream when you have none in the fridge, but then they all disappear and hide when you have a pot of the aforementioned dairy products staring forlornly at you from the fridge, begging to be used up. Hence the creativity requirement.

I started out with the buttermilk birthday cake from How to be a Domestic Goddess (Nigella Lawson, obviously) and the baking tray I wanted to use required a four egg mix so I adapted. I wanted the chocolate portion to be orange flavoured, but the vanilla portion to remain plain. Here's what I came up with (please excuse the exact measurements, as I say, I scaled up a recipe, giving some bizarre amounts!):

Chocolate orange and vanilla marble cake
333g plain flour (or 300g plain + 33g self raising, if you run out of plain like me.....)
2 tsp baking powder
2/3tsp bicarbonate of soda
260ml buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
166g softened butter
266g caster sugar
4 large eggs
30g cocoa powder
grated zest of 1 large orange

- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and line an 8 x 12" cake tin.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb together into a bowl and set aside.
- Pour the buttermilk into a jug and stir in the vanilla.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Mixing slowly, add the eggs one at a time, continuing to mix for 30 seconds between each. Add a spoonful of flour if you're worried about the mixture splitting.
- Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately until all used up, blending well after each addition.
- When all thoroughly combined, pour approximately half the mixture into a smaller bowl and set aside.
- Sift the cocoa powder, remaining buttermilk from the carton (I used a 284ml carton so had a little left) and the zest of the orange to the remaining cake mix and combine until evenly brown coloured.
- Place blobs of mixture alternately into the tin and then, using the handle of a spoon (or something similar, a skewer is too thin for adequate mixing in my experience) drag back and forth through the mixture until you feel it is marbled. Don't do too much, you want to retain the individual colours and flavours. I was pleased with the way mine turned out (photo above and below).
- Bake for 50mins - 1 hour (but start checking at 40 mins if you know your oven is hot) until a skewer/cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before unmoulding and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.

I cut this into 18 generous pieces.

You can just see the marbled top of the cake. It has cracked slightly but no matter, you can see the dark and light mixtures peeking through.

This would definitely be my go-to cake recipe for a straightforward cake recipe from now on and it only requires buttermilk in addition to the normal sponge cake ingredients. It also takes adaptation very well!
This is a really, really delicious cake, it's moist (putting that down to the buttermilk) but light and tender at the same time, and was devoured at work. I was really pleased with the way the marbling worked and it didn't require any sort of icing or other embellishment. The chocolate orange flavour came through really well, although a stronger flavour other than vanilla would have been required to compete with it in the non-chocolate part - I might try lemon next time but it was gorgeous just as it was.

Monday 23 February 2009

Fairtrade Fortnight and banana chocolate fudge cookies

Firstly, and most importantly, it's Fairtrade Fortnight at the moment (it runs from the 23rd February to 8th March) which is something I believe in passionately. As usual, Wikipedia has a good summary article outlining the principles and history of fairtrade, found here. In the UK, The Fairtrade Foundation are one of the main bodies involved in the certification of products and their promotion. Do check out their website, it's really fun and informative and has lots of info and links to campaigns, resources and much, much more. I really can't do it justice here, but I urge you to check it out and get involved.

Speaking of getting involved, it really doesn't have to be difficult. Shop in Sainsburys? Buy bananas? You're already involved. All of Sainsbury's bananas are fairtrade, even the value bananas. (And no, I have no affiliation to Sainsbury's, it's just where I happen to shop - The Co-op are also very well known for supporting and promoting Fairtrade products.) Many workplaces only serve fairtrade tea and coffee - it's just as tasty as other brands now, although I'm aware that many years ago this didn't use to be the case (I'm reliably informed, not being a coffee/tea drinker myself). There are so, so many Fairtrade products out there, from fruit to juice to coffee, tea, rice, pasta, jam, sugar, cocoa, chocolate, dried fruit, wine...... I could go on and on, but suggest you click here to see the Fairtrade foundation's list of products.

Go on, make a difference to the life of someone you don't know, but who deserves better. Buy Fairtrade. Right lets move on to a recipe to use some of those yummy fairtrade bananas that were slowly turning black and fragrant in my fruit bowl.

This is another recipe from Dan Lepard, and you can find the original here, on his forums. As he says, they're ideal for using up a couple of fragrant, mushy looking bananas and you can get fairtrade sugar, vanilla and cocoa too!!!

Chocolate banana cookies
Makes 30 biggish ones
125g caster sugar
125g soft light brown sugar
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
250g butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
50g cocoa
2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g rolled oats
lots of icing sugar for sifting

- Beat the sugars and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the banana (I added mine in chunks) and essence and continue to beat. Mine looked ick here - all sort of split, but never mind.
-Sift the flour, cocoa and soda together, beat this in followed by the oats.
- Cover and chill the mixture for 30 minutes. (I put mine in an unheated room, so cool, but not chilled really)
-Preheat the oven to 180C (fan assisted)/ Gas 4 and lightly grease a baking tray (or put baking parchment onto it).
- Spoon blobs the size of unshelled walnuts (40g - 50g) out of the bowl, roughly shape into balls then press these onto the tray spaced 3-4 cm apart. (The mixture was very sticky and messy to work with - don't try answering the phone at the same time!)
- When the tray is full (mine took twelve and even then, they were starting to make friends by the time they were cooked) return the bowl to the fridge (um, I didn't bother.... I didn't see that chilling it had helped much anyway, but then I don't suppose I chilled it properly)
- sift loads and loads of icing sugar over each cookie (I didn't squash mine down at all - they were still ball shaped ish when they went into the oven) until you can't see it.
- Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the cookie looks baked (it's a tricky one to judge) then leave for a moment before easing each off the tray with a spatula onto a wire rack, and repeat with the remaining mixture.

As Dan says, it's very difficult indeed to tell when these are done. Mine definitely took 20 minutes and possibly a bit longer, but you don't want to go over and burn them. I had to put two trays in at one point, and the lower tray took over 20 minutes - at that stage they were very wobbly indeed.
Some of mine welded themselves together. I really must get a second baking tray as my small one just isn't up to the job. Hence the triangular cookie you see above!
So were they good? Need you ask? They aren't much of a looker, it has to said, but they make up for it in taste and texture. I thought they would be quite wet inside, but they were beautifully light and moist, with neither the banana nor the cocoa flavour being too dominant. I didn't find them too sweet either and the oats provided a really nice chewiness. Really good.
My colleagues (at yet another new place - I'm rotating at the moment, to the extent that I'm nearly dizzy!) loved them and there are calls for baking EVERY day!
PS Check out the rather lovely Emma Bridgewater cake tin. Someone with great taste obviously bought it for me - you know who you are ;-)

Thursday 19 February 2009

Golden Syrup Tea Bread

Well, after all that indulgence, a lower fat treat is called for. This tea bread is just the thing. In common with many tea bread recipes it contains no added fat and the combination of the syrup and tea-soaked fruit makes sure it is moist and pleasant to eat.

I adapted the recipe from one I found on the Waitrose food website. You can find the original recipe here.

I have given my adapted recipe below:

Golden Syrup Tea Bread
225g raisins
300ml strong tea
75g golden syrup
125g glace cherries
2 lightly beaten large eggs
275g self raising flour
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice (optional - I didn't bother)

- Brew the tea and dissolve 75g golden syrup in it.
- Place the raisins in a bowl and pour over the sweet tea. Leave to soak for 2 hours, or overnight if more convenient.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 2lb/900g loaf tin.
- Stir the glace cherries (chopped in half and rinsed of their syrup to prevent them all plunging to the bottom of the cake) and the two lightly beaten eggs into the raisin mixture. Mix to combine.
- Add the flour and spice if using and mix well until no pockets of flour remain.
- Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Try not to overcook it like mine, as it has a tendency to dry up slightly.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve sliced and buttered.

This went down very well at work. I felt it was a little dry, but nothing that a nice thick smear of butter wouldn't fix!

I cut it into 10 slices and from memory, the Weightwatchers (UK) points were 3/slice. (Without butter, obviously, but sadly!)

Monday 16 February 2009

Blueberry cheesecake

This is the second dessert I made for my Grandfather's birthday party (click here to see the first one - a chocolate truffle torte). I've never made a baked cheesecake before and felt that it ought to be part of my repertoire. As luck would have it, somebody on one of the messageboards I frequent mentioned that they have often made this recipe with great success. Having read all of the user comments (which seriously took a while - loads of people have made and commented on this!) it seemed likely to be a success - important when you're trying something for the first time I always think. (I find it really depressing to spend time, effort and ingredients making something that turns out burnt or inedible or totally different to the picture, so all the positive comments reassured me).

As you can see, I decided to go with a blueberry cheesecake, rather than raspberry. Neither are in season in the UK at the moment, but at least blueberries are in season in the countries they're being imported from (South America mostly I think) rather than the forced Spanish rasberries. And blueberries travel well, whereas I've seen raspberries in the supermarkets recently that have actually been mouldy on the shelves (how stupid do these supermarkets think we are - am I the only one to actually look at the produce I'm planning to buy???). I guess you could also use frozen fruit, but it's nice to have some fresh berries to top the cake with!
Anyway, here's the recipe as I made it; there are a few minor amendments:
Blueberry (or raspberry) baked cheesecake
8 hobnob biscuits
50g butter , melted
300g full fat cream cheese (you can use all full fat if you want, I just used what I had in)
200g low fat cream cheese
2 tbsp plain flour
175g caster sugar
vanilla extract
2 eggs, plus 1 yolk
200ml soured cream
300g blueberries
icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
- Crush the biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin - which I did, in the absence of a food processor). Pour the melted butter onto the biscuits and then press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Beat the cream cheeses with the flour, sugar, a few drops of vanilla, eggs, the yolk and soured cream. (At this point the original recipe says until light and fluffy. This is a lie - mine was runny and neither light nor fluffy - still, I persevered)
- Stir in half the blueberries and pour into the tin.
- Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool. (Mine took about 1 hour, but I may have overcooked it.)
- Keep a few blueberries for the top and put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp icing sugar. Heat until juicy and then squash with a fork.
- Push through a sieve if you want, I didn't bother because blueberries don't really have pips like raspberries.
- Serve the cheescake with the blueberry sauce and extra blueberries scattered on the top.
You can see the naked cheesecake without its adornments in the picture above. It did crack slightly on cooling, but I didn't mind! (It wasn't too obvious really, and once the sauce and extra blueberries were one, no-one was any the wiser!) It took longer to bake than the recipe said, and the cheese-y mixture at no point went 'light and fluffy' but otherwise, a very easy to make recipe indeed.

So, how was it received? A massive thumbs up from everyone who had some - I was really quite proud of this dessert! It was quite light and if I'm being really picky (which I am) the base wasn't particularly crisp (but J says that they quite often aren't on baked cheesecakes) and the texture was smooth but not super-smooth (as I was hoping) but it did taste fabulous and I would make it again.

There was some left after the party and T was lucky enough to enjoy a piece for his breakfast the next morning. Yum! I'll leave you with a final picture of the glossy sauce and blueberry topping.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Chocolate truffle torte

It was my Grandfather's 'official' birthday yesterday (ie the day he chose for his party!), and I volunteered to help out by making a couple of desserts (watch this space for the other in a couple of days!). The first one I chose was this chocolate truffle torte using a recipe by Delia Smith. You can see the recipe here on her website.

I modified the recipe slightly - I decided to make a more conventional cheesecake type base with hobnob biscuits rather than Amaretti (allergy issues) and because I felt that a second texture to contrast with the rich chocolate would be good. I didn't have brandy so substituted Kirsch. I think theoretically this was a great idea, but nobody could really taste the kirsch. I think if you really like kirsch you should perhaps forget putting it in the cake and just drink it at the same time! (Or as Delia suggests, add some of the kirsch to the cream you are going to serve with the torte).

Chocolate Truffle Cake
200g hobnob biscuits
100g butter, melted
450g dark chocolate (best quality possible)
5 tbsp glucose syrup
5 tbsp brandy (or kirsch)
570ml (1 pint) double cream

- Line the base of a 9" (23cm) springform cake tin with baking parchment and grease the sides of the tin.
- Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter. Press this mixture into the tin and leave to set for around 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Melt the chocolate with the glucose syrup and alcohol and leave to cool for 5 minutes or so. (I think next time, I might melt the chocolate in two batches - it took quite a long time to melt and I think some of the chocolate may have overheated).
- In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until it is barely thickened. Fold half of the cream into the chocolate mixture and then fold that into the remaining cream. (I did follow this instruction, but found that my cream was perhaps too cold as the whole lot attempted to set almost immediately, which made it very difficult to smooth into the baking tin. I can't really see how to make this easier though - the only thing I can think is to allow the cream to warm up a little, but I'm not sure how well it would whip at room temperature).
- Put in the fridge and allow to chill overnight.
- Just before serving run a knife carefully around the edges of the tin and release the cake. Another pair of hands (or a can to put under the base while you deal with the sides) is helpful!
- Dust with cocoa powder and serve with extra single or double pouring cream.

This was T's portion of truffle cake - liberally doused in double cream, the only way to go! The cake is very rich and quite bitter so the double cream is a necessity I suppose! The birthday boy enjoyed it very much, and many others told me how much they'd enjoyed it too. Good job really because it's quite a big cake and there was about half left at the end of the evening, so it looks like chocolate truffle cake for breakfast - what a delicious and decadent way to start the day.

Thursday 12 February 2009

Lemon-syrup loaf cake

I love this cake. It's simple, elegant and most importantly, tastes absolutely delicious! The recipe is from Nigella Lawson, and the actual cake part is pretty standard, but drenching the just-cooked cake with a sugar and lemon juice syrup raises this cake from yummy to something really special.

Easy to make, and uses pretty much all storecupboard ingredients too - what more could you ask for?

Lemon-syrup loaf cake
125g softened butter

175g caster sugar

2 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed)

175g self-raising flour

4 tbsp milk

for the syrup:

juice of the lemon

75g icing sugar

-Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin (23x13x7cm) with baking parchment - this is a very moist and sticky cake.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
- Cream together the butter and sugar and then add the eggs, beating them in well. Add the flour and lemon zest and fold in gently but thoroughly until well mixed. Add the 4 tbsp milk and mix well. (I would recommend adding the lemon zest with the flour rather than beating with the eggs because I found that all my lemon zest attached itself to the beaters and clung on for dear life, rather than remaining in with the rest of the mix - very annoying!)
- Spoon into the loaf tin and smooth the surface. Place into the oven.

While the cake is cooking, make the syrup. Place the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves (although I don't think mine did completely - it doesn't really matter!).

- When the cake is cooked (45 minutes or so until golden and risen in the middle with a cake tester/skewer coming out clean - Nigella notes that it will sink a little on cooling, but I didn't really notice this) stab the cake repeatedly, all over the surface and right down into the cake. This is good fun! Carefully pour the syrup mixture over the cake, trying to make sure that some is absorbed in the middle of the cake, rather than just running down to the edges of the tin.
- Leave in the tin until completely cold, then carefully remove and slice.

This is an incredibly moist cake and the syrup adds a delicious sweet-tart tanginess.

Cut up and ready to go into work, where it was well received. If you look at the slices you can see where the syrup has penetrated the cake. Yum!

Sunday 8 February 2009

Purple porridge!

I enjoy eating porridge for breakfast, but for all the low-GI slow release energy it's supposed to give you, I'm usually hungry far sooner than if I have a different breakfast. All the same porridge is good, and very healthy so I sometimes have it anyway (and remember to take more snacks with me!). I had blueberries in the fridge and had read a recipe a while ago in one of my multitudes of cookbooks that suggested using frozen forest fruits in porridge. I reckoned fresh blueberries would be just as good so used them instead.

I'm sure you know how to make porridge, and everyone differs slightly but here's how I did it (with thanks to Fiona Beckett who blogs here as the frugal cook, and has a student cooking website here at Beyond Baked Beans for the original idea).

Ingredients: 35g porridge oats, 50g blueberries.
Method: Weigh oats in a mug (I use a full espresso cup of oats) and put in a saucepan with the blueberries. Add 2.5-3 times the volume of water to oats (which is why measuring in a cup is handy) and bring to the boil. Turn down and let it erupt volcanically (you'll know what I mean if you've made porridge before!) for 5 minutes (or as long as your oats recommend on the pack). Pour into a bowl and enjoy! Quick and good for you.

I mashed my blueberries quite hard to get them to explode and turn the porridge my desired purple colour. It might be nice to stir in some more fresh blueberries after you're done, but mine were a little on the tart side.

I like crunchy demerara sugar on my porridge too!

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Fabulous double chocolate and pear brownies

Ahh, the chocolate kick intensifies. Still wanting, craving chocolate (well, who doesn't really) I decided that brownies were the way to go because it's been ages since I made them. I do have a particular recipe that I like making, but was on the lookout for a new (perhaps even better) one and came across this one, on the Waitrose website. If you haven't yet found the Waitrose recipe website, please do take a look. There is always loads of inspiration there and it's free! (And you don't have to shop in (admittedly quite expensive) Waitrose to make the recipes - they don't specify loads of own brand stuff that can't be substituted, there are quite often nutritional breakdowns of the recipes, which is always handy).

Anyway, these brownies caught my eye because you don't often see fresh fruit and brownie recipes and it appealed. I could just imagine the refreshing slight crunch of the pear and the softly yielding gooeyness (if that's a word, and if it's not, it should be!) of the cakey part. I had to sub out the Brazil nuts (allergic) and decided that 100g dark chocolate, chopped would be a great substitute, which it was!

Uncut brownies. I don't know why they look marbled like that, I didn't do anything special to them! Anyway, the recipe. This was really easy. So there's no excuse not to make them pronto.

Double chocolate and pear brownies
Makes 24
250g butter
200g Dark 70% Chocolate, roughly chopped
250g Caster Sugar
3 large (free range) eggs
1 large ripe pear, peeled, cored and diced
100g Dark 70% Chocolate, roughly chopped (sub white or milk if you prefer)
175g self raising flour, sifted
3 tbsp Cocoa Powder, sifted

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Line a 30cm x 20cm x 4cm rectangular tin with baking parchment.
- Put the butter and 200g dark chocolate in a small pan and place over a very low heat until melted, stirring occasionally.
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until pale and fluffy, using an electric whisk for speed. Gradually pour in the melted chocolate mixture and continue whisking until combined.
- Fold in the flour and cocoa then stir in the pear pieces and the remaining chocolate pieces.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the brownies are just set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Cut into 24 squares before serving.

You can see the pear pieces better in this last picture. How were they? Well, fabulous! However, I found that the pear didn't work quite as well as I had hoped - my pear was perhaps a little too soft, or it cooked too much in the oven as it was soft in texture. All down to personal taste though. And the brownie part was seriously good stuff. I will make these again but will probably use 100g of 70% dark and 100g of really good (not too sweet) white chocolate like Green and Black's. They went down a storm at work.

Make them though - they're seriously good!!!

Sunday 1 February 2009

Chocolate, Orange and Banana Loaf

Welcome to this month's Sweet and Simple Bake recipe. This event is run by Rosie of Rosie bakes a 'peace' of cake, and Maria of The Goddess's Kitchen. Each month members bake the given recipe and report back on how it went. There is a round-up of the recipes on the Sweet and Simple Bakes blog, and the recipes for all the challenges can be found on Sweet and Simple recipe blog.

January is traditionally the month of making resolutions to lose weight, live more healthily and generally be a better person (or is that just me?). As such, a few of my colleagues are on diets at the moment (I'm not - I subscribe to the view that January is cold and cold weather requires lots of warm food and is not a good time for dieting!) and so although I want to keep baking, and try new and extravagant recipes I'm attempting to limit the number of calories and fat in some of what I make. This recipe fitted in perfectly. The bananas help to keep the cake moist and allow a lower proportion of butter to be used than is usual in a cake. I halved the recipe given because I didn't want a large cake. It worked really well and I have given the half measurements below. The full recipe can be found here.

Banana, Orange and Chocolate Bread

Makes 10 slices


125g (4 1/2oz) self-raising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g (2 1/2oz) caster sugar
50g (2 oz) butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
200g (7oz) whole bananas (about 2 small ones, or 1 large), peeled
40g (1 1/2oz) dark chocolate chips

1 lb loaf tin (mine is 9x18cm measured at the top)

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3. Lightly butter and line the loaf tin with parchment paper. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and butter and, using your fingertips, rub it in until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest in another bowl. Add the bananas and mash very well with a potato masher or a fork. Add the chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Gently but thoroughly bring all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top and bake in the oven for 45mins-1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

I have calculated the Weightwatchers (UK) points for this recipe, but am making no claims whatsoever that they are 100% accurate (although I used the points from J's weightwatchers book) and I am not affiliated to WW or anything like that. With these provisos:

WW points = 3/slice (if cut into 10)

WW points = 3.5/slice (if cut into 8)

NB: If you don’t have a 1lb loaf tin, the recipe can be doubled and baked for 1-1 ¼ hours in a 2lb loaf tin (measurements 13x23cm (5x9”) loaf tin).

This was quick and easy to make, and turned out really well. I was worried that the banana and egg mixture wouldn't be sufficient liquid for the dry ingredients, but my fears were unfounded.

It was a really successful cake. The banana helped to keep it moist, but wasn't at all heavy or dense, as banana cakes can sometimes be. The orange zest can clearly be seen in the top photograph, and the loaf was really fragrant. I would say that if you're looking for a subtle orange flavour that you'd need to reduce the amount of zest, but in combination with the chocolate it made the cake taste like eating Terry's Chocolate Orange or Green and Black's Maya Gold chocolate. Never a bad thing in my book.

It was very well received at work, with everyone enjoying it (even those on diets) and requests for the recipe.


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