A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges. - Benjamin Franklin
After that Sticky weekend, we were off to the city to counter all the sweets consumed the previous week! It was the bi-annual general dental check up and cleaning. I tell you. I do have a way with planning and organizing. All those years (ancient times!) in the corporate environment has honed my KPI assessing skills and my strategic planning prowess. While a weekend was spent in a cavity-inducing activity, the next weekend can only follow one path. And that is to road to dental salvation. And while I can save my girls’ pearly whites, there is actually a second motive after our dentist trip. And that is a few steps to cross George Street onto The Strand Arcade, and into the open doors of Haigh’s. I must admit though, that I am a compulsive chocolate hoarder. A mild one. Because we don’t have a pantry full of chocolates. But I seem to bend over when chocolates are infront of me, especially those kinds that we don’t really see in supermarket shelves. The special kind. Haigh’s is definitely my kind of store.
This is the first time that I’m trying on a chocolate cake mixed with some other food item. I’m a simple chocolate cake kind of gal. Less ingredients, simple method, the better. But I found this recipe and while we still had an abundance of Australian navel orange, a road test was in order. Let’s see how good this chocolate-orange combination is.
Dark Chocolate Orange Fudge Cake adapted from Haigh's
For the cake:
3/4 cup cold water
finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 drops orange essence
(I substituted this with lemon essence as its not available within the 25k radius of our suburb)
250g unsalted butter
2 cups caster sugar
200g Haigh's Dark Couveture Chocolate
1 and 1/2 cups plan flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Combine the water, zest, juice, essence, butter, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan. (Photo above. Yes, it looks like a big mess, a hodge-podge kind of mess, especially the water and butter are both cold. But don't worry at this point. Just follow the instructions.)
Heat gently until chocolate has melted and sugar has dissolved. (It will look better at this stage. Look. Smooth consistency. Just what you want.)
Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. (Vague, so here's an estimate. About 5-10 minutes, depending on the season. It's winter so that took shorter than 10 minutes.)
Whisk in sifted flour and cocoa. (To do this, simply place a fine mesh strainer over your saucepan, and pour your dry ingredients as mentioned, then whisk away.) Stir in beaten eggs.
Pour batter into a lined 22cm spring form pan.
Bake at 175 degrees C for 75 minutes or until cooked (when you insert a skewer, it will not come out clean but should have some bits and pieces of the cake as this is a fudge cake.)
Allow to cool before icing.
1 cup Haigh's Dark Couveture Chocolate, roughly chopped (about 120g)
1 cup cream
2-3 drops orange essence (again, we used lemon essence)
zest of 1 orange
Melt together chocolate, cream, essence and orange zest in a bowl over simmering water, until smooth.
Allow to cool and thicken in the refrigerator (45 minutes to an hour). Spread thickened icing over cold cake and serve.
The method in itself is simple. I am one for baking recipes that do not require softening the butter at room temperature. This is the melt-in-the-pan kind. The cake overall was as it is named – dark-chocolate-orange-fudge. It is a rich heavy cake, but the hint of orange balances it all. The jaffa icing blends well with the cake. This cake is sophisticated and demure. Its not the kind of cake you’d want another slice like regular chocolate or sponge cakes. The richness of the fudge gives you that content feeling. And the whiff and taste of orange gives you that balance of sweet with fresh. Served with whipped cream, it is a perfect match.