Chocolate orange loaf cake!

I came across this in Nigella Lawson’s ‘Kitchen’ a week or so ago and I knew it had to be made as chocolate and orange is one of my favourite combinations. I don’t exactly have the best track record with loaf cakes, though: I have tried, twice, to bake a chocolate loaf cake, and never managed to persuade it to cook through – the first time was a major disaster, partly because the tin was too small (oops!) and we ended up eating it as chocolate pudding instead! The second time was a lot better but still more than a little gooey inside. It was third time lucky though, as this one came out well, with just enough gooey-ness to be nice. It’s not quite as rich as most of Nigella’s recipes tend to be, probably because it uses cocoa rather than actual chocolate, and the sweet toffee-ness of the muscovado sugar and the syrup really comes through – if I make it again I might experiment with using some real chocolate (and maybe replacing some of the muscovado sugar with something a little lighter), but this was yummy nonetheless, and also kept really well.

Ingredients:

150g soft butter or margarine

2 tablespoons golden syrup

175g dark muscovado sugar

150g plain flour

Half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

25g cocoa powder

2 eggs

Zest of 2 oranges and juice of one

– Preheat the oven to 170c and line and grease a 2 lb loaf tin (this is 18.5 x 11.5 x 9 cms).

– Cream the butter, sugar and syrup. This takes a while as the muscovado sugar tends to be lumpy, and even when I was done there were still a few small lumps.

– Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa together, and sift them (or sift them as you add them). Add a tablespoon of the flour mix to the creamed mix and beat in.

– Add one egg, then a couple more spoonfuls of the flour, then the other egg, beating after each. Gradually beat in the rest of the flour.

– Finally, beat in the orange zest and then gradually add the juice.

– Pour into the tin and bake for around 45 minutes, until it is just coming away from the edges of the tin but still a little gooey inside.