Chocolate Orange Cake

Well I am  just over 1/2  way through Season 1 of the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) recipes. Eighteen recipes down and fifteen to go! I may still be able to knock off a couple more before renovations start.

Talking of renovations we are still waiting for council approval. Our draughtsman thought we should have the green light by 1stJuly, but no. Council came back with 17 main questions with another 16 sub questions to be answered to their satisfaction. Second try we are down to 6 questions with 4 sub questions to answer. Now  we waiting for their response. Third time lucky? I should have held a sweepstake at work for the date we are given council signoff to start – a missed opportunity! But progress has been made. I have finalised my new kitchen plan – black and white theme with pops of colour. The quote is better than I hoped for $20,000NZ – without appliances – they have been sitting in our basement for 10 months. Goodness I do hope that no mice or rats have got into the boxes and chewed the wires!! This happened to a friend of the MOTHs.Arrrh shouldn’t have thought of that!Please no mice!  Back to happy thoughts – I have brought the pendent lights to hang over the breakfast bar (hard to describe – clear glass  but with a pineapple type pattern) and an oval chandelier for over the dinning table.  The MOTH  was surprised at my choice. He didn’t think I liked “bling” or “pretty”.  I love “pretty” and “bling”  – I just don’t wear them!

But back to this weeks bake. Chocolate Orange Cake. No major issues except for throwing cocoa powder all over the kitchen bench, floor, and Nepresso machine – I didn’t put the splash guard on the mixer (saves washing up!). It is amazing how far the mixer can throw fine cocoa powder. But nothing spray-n-wipe can’t handle. Years ago my mum fell asleep while heavily pregnant with me after cleaning the house (it was summer and very hot – think 40+ degree celsius hot) only to be woken by a little ghost child patting her with sticky hands. Everywhere she looked she saw white powder, as she said even the air was filled with it.  My brother William was 17 months old and somehow he found a packet of whiting (Mum never worked out where he found this) and a tin of golden syrup. William had a wonderful time spreading golden syrup all over himself, the kitchen floor, walls, cupboards and even one of the dogs! He then continued to entertain himself by throwing the whiting around. Hence the ghost child. Poor Mum didn’t know where to start and  promptly burst into tears. I of course never did anything quite this bad!!  Bu…t I did follow her all down the very long hallway of our old home while she was vacuuming ( think loud old vacuum cleaner) throwing cornfakes everywhere she had been. When Mum finally turned around I was singing out “Here chook, chook, chook. Here chook, chook, chook” having a lovely time. She laughed and just vacuumed them up. I was two.

The best part of making this cake was poking holes all over the cakes for the syrup to soak into. It was quite cathartic stabbing all those tiny holes. As this cake has a “dash” of orange liqueur in it’s sugar syrup and icing, I brought a miniature bottle of Cointreau. And for pity sake what is a dash?!? Do you stand at a distance and just thrown some of the alcohol at the saucepan hoping for the best or is it a cap full? In the end I decided three tablespoons (1/2 the mini bottle) seemed about right. I kept tasting the syrup and icing till I could get a hint of Cointreau flavour. So to me a dash equals three tablespoons!! lol.

                IMG_2399       IMG_2403     IMG_2399

Oh, just looked on Dr Google for what a dash is in cooking and here is what I found:

“In the early 2000s some companies began selling measuring spoons that defined (or redefined) a tad as ​14 teaspoon, a dash as ​18 teaspoon, a pinch as ​116 teaspoon, and a smidgen as ​132 teaspoon. Based on these spoons, there are two pinches in a dash and two smidgens in a pinch.”

 So 1/8 teaspoon of Cointreau is a dash  – not 3 tablespoons!! Oh lol, pick me off the floor from laughing!!

I did make one change to this cake. It asks for chocolate ganache as the filling and covering of the cake, but I decided to use the ganache only for the filling. This cake has so much chocolate and coco in it that I was sure that the orange flavour would be overwhelmed. Instead I made an orange and Cointreau butter cream for the topping. Decoration was Jaffas and Lindt Fruit Sensation Orange and Grapefruit balls – I have since eaten the rest of the packet. Lip smacking deliciousness!

This Chocolate Orange Cake should have been lovely based on the ingredients but I found it sooooo disappointing. In fact I have ranked this as the worse cake so far. There is way too much coco in it! You could taste coco! Nasty! It is dry despite having 100 mls of sugar syrup poured all over it. It is heavy not light.  There is no orange flavour. A fail! Did Paul and Mary of the GBBO deem this cake as a fail?  Did they think the taste balance was all wrong. Or did something go astray with my bake?? I have no idea. Sigh.

Anyway I am off to make two slices – Apple Cheesecake Strudel Slice for the MOTH and Tim Tam Strawberry Champagne Slice for work (neither are GBBO recipes) – please let these taste nice! Happy baking!


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