A little while ago I received two bumper bags of chocolate drops from the lovely folks at Lily O’Brien’s. I think my children thought that Christmas had come early once they realised the wonderful chocolate contained within – and I must say I wasn’t far behind.
These dark and milk chocolate drops are absolutely ideal for baking. They are also ideal for rewarding (read=bribing) children so I knew I had to take action before the bags emptied before my very eyes.
This chocolate bundt cake was inspired by one of my early blog entries – this cake I made for Band of Bakers way back in December 2012. It is very rich, intensely chocolatey and with a hint of orange – a dangerously sinful cake.
For the cake
1/2 spent (juiced) orange, cooked and puréed
300g | 10.5 oz chocolate buttons
(I used a mix of dark and milk Lily O’Brien’s drops)
100g | 3 1/2 oz or 7 tsbp unsalted butter
200g | 1 cup light brown sugar
100g | 1/2 cup ground almonds
150g | 1 1/4 cup self raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the syrup
Juice of 1 orange
Equal volume of water
100g | 1/2 cup caster sugar
2-3 tbsp Campari (or other orange liquer)
For the chocolate glaze
150g | 5.5oz dark chocolate buttons (or mix dark and milk)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
Orange peel strips to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180C | 350F. Grease 1x20cm/8inch bundt tin.
Juice the orange. Keep the orange segments and set the juice aside.
Chop half of the juiced orange (peel and all) in small pieces and put in a pot. Cover with water and boil for 10-15m until soft. Blitz in a food processor (or small food chopper) with a couple tablespoons of water until puréed.
Melt the chocolate over a bain marie (or in a microwave but be careful the chocolate doesn’t burn). Set aside to cool. Sift the flour, cocoa, soda, salt and almonds together.
Beat the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, with 1 tbsp of flour. Beat until well incorporated. Add the puréed orange and 1/3 of the flour and beat on low speed until well mixed.
Fold the melted chocolate and remaining flour mix into the batter with a wooden spoon. The batter will be quite thick. Pour into the bundt tin and level.
Bake for 1h – 1h 10m until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean or with a few small crumbs attached. Check the cake is firm on top. Cool in the tin and then carefully invert on to a drying rack.
To prepare the syrup, put equal amounts orange juice and water plus the sugar in a pot. Bring to the boil then simmer until syrup is reduced – about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir the Campari in. Brush the syrup over the cake with a pastry brush.
To make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a bain marie (or microwave), add the butter and honey and stir together. Put the cake on a rack with a piece of baking paper underneath. Pour or spoon the melted chocolate over the cake. Decorate with orange strips.
The cake keeps well at room temperature. In fact, it tastes even better on the second day when the flavours have had a chance to mellow. Server with some whipped cream and a spoonful some of the syrup.