Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Jaffa Loaf Cake

So what do you enjoy with your film when you go to the cinema? Popcorn? Nachos> Pic & mix? Cake? Oh, so that's just my group of friends then. Ok, but just so you know cake = the best cinema treat EVER!
Jaffa Loaf Cake - soft vanilla sponge with Seville marmalade and dark chocolate
It's actually the second time I've taken cake to the cinema for myself and my friends to enjoy - complete with paper plates and forks I might add! The first time was a chocolate Coca Cola cake with milk ganache icing (recipe coming at some point, promise) and when we were planning the second time, one friend apparently said to the other, 'I wonder if Laura is bringing cake' and the response was  'she had better'. Thankfully this cake was rather more than satisfactory.
Jaffa Loaf Cake - soft vanilla sponge with Seville marmalade and dark chocolate
Soft, springy and light, the moist vanilla sponge made quick and easy by the all in one method, hides beneath a layer of Seville orange marmalade. Slather this on when the cake is fresh out of the oven and the bittersweet fragrant flavour seeps down into the cake to boost the moisture levels held therein. Let the cake cool and then smoother the marmalade with a dark chocolate topping. Let it set before you get your reward and cut slice after slice, breaking the chocolate shell so the sweet orange preserve oozes out in a sticky layer, melding with the dark chocolate.
Jaffa Loaf Cake - soft vanilla sponge with Seville marmalade and dark chocolate
This version is far better than the little cake discs you buy from the shops. When I wanted the same flavours of this classic treat from McVities, only better and in a bigger portion, I went hunting. Inspired by this cake from Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes, I made my changes and was mighty pleased with the result. So were my friends. They have eaten a lot of my cakes but when a particular cake is mentioned for days afterwards, you know it was a success.

Jaffa Loaf Cake
Cuts into about 10 slices
An all in one soft vanilla sponge topped with lovely marmalade and a thick layer of dark chocolate.

  • 100g margarine, softened
  • 170g plain flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 75ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A generous scoop of marmalade, sieved to remove any peel
  • 100g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
1. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Place the margarine, flour, baking powder, sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla into a large bowl and mix together until just combined. 
3. Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven fpr 40-50 mins until a cake tetster inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Set on a wire rack.
4. Warm the marmalade and pour onto the top of the cake, spreading it out evenly while the cake is still warm.
5. Let the cake cool compltely then melt the chocolate and milk together in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir frequently until melted and smooth.
6. Let the chocolate cool so it thickens but is still molten, then pour over the top of the cake and spread out evenly. When the chocolate has set enough, remove the cake from the tin and cut into slices to serve.

I'm sending this off to CookBlogShare run by Lucy at Supergolden Bakes, squeezing in before the deadline. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Wholemeal Chocolate Chunk Roasted Banana Bread

That's it. I can't go any longer. I know I have a million and one things to do and not enough time but I need to write a blog post. There are only so many times I can turn the conversation in the lab to cake but here on my blog I can talk about cake all day. Specifically this cake.
Wholemeal (Whole wheat) Chocolate Chunk Roasted Banana Bread
I've never roasted a banana before baking this cake but now, now I may never go back to standard bananas over-ripened by time. I had been umming and ahhing over which cake I wanted to bake, flitting from one idea to the next, when Sally from Sally's Baking Addication posted this banana bread recipe. That was it. Decision made. Except of course I had to do my usual meddling and use what I had in the cupboards. And my bananas were still yellow. So I decided to roast the living day lights out of them.
Wholemeal (Whole wheat) Chocolate Chunk Roasted Banana Bread
What a good decision that was. Squidgy and moist but not heavy in the least, this loaf cake (or quick bread, your choice) had a satisfying nutty background edge provided by the wholemeal flour I used, sweetened merrily by the slight caramelisation of the banana pulp induced by the roasting action of the oven. The creamy cocoa hit from the milk chocolate chunks dispersed throughout were a pleasant complement in each bit, providing a touch of naughty luxury in a cake which you can feel good about eating because of both the wonderful taste and the nutritional goodness for the whole grains and fruit therein.
Wholemeal (Whole wheat) Chocolate Chunk Roasted Banana Bread
You could of course use whatever chocolate you like. Dark or white would be just as good and I reckon the deep cocoa hit of 70% bit chocolate would be a pretty good contrast to the sweet crumb too. The use of wholemeal flour is of course optional too but it works so incredibly well that I highly recommend using it in banana bread - I certainly will be again. Although of course I now want to try variations on this cake I'll be sticking to using wholemeal flour because the taste and texture was so good. Plus I got to see for myself just how good melting chocolate into hot, roasted banana was. Try it yourself. Hearsay isn't the same.

Wholemeal Chocolate Chunk Roasted Banana Bread
Cuts into about 10 slices
Roast bananas to bring out a wonderful caramelised sweetness then combine with the earthy nuttiness of wholemeal flour and sweet creamy chocolate chunks.

  • 90ml oil
  • 70g honey
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium, roasted bananas*
  • 215g wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.5tsp cinnamon
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
1. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan and line a 2lb loaf tin.
2. Whisk together the oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, milk and eggs. Mash the roasted banana pulp (snip off one end and squeeze the pulp out into a bowl is easiest) until smooth then mix into the wet ingredients.
3. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into the wet ingredients and stir in until almost combined. Add the chocolate and stir again until just combined - don't overmix or the cake will be heavy.
4. Bake for 50-60 mins or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean - oven times can vary widely depending on your own oven. When baked, cool on a wire rack. Drizzle over more chocolate if you wish.

*To roast bananas - set the oven to about 180C and put the bananas in the oven sat on a bbaking sheet. Let them cook, turning over every 10 mins or so (only if you remember) until the skins are completely black. Remove from the oven and let cool until cool enough to handle.

I'm sharing this banana bread with Bookmarked Recipes run by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes because I wanted to make it as soon as I saw Sally's version. I also think it is suitable for this months Love Cake run by Ness at JibberJabberUK. The theme is For the Love of Cake - I LOVE cake and I love banana bread and the many, many variations that can be made. Lastly, CookBlogShare run by Lucy at Supergolden Bakes. I don't get to enter much now that I've had to cut back on blogging to finish my final year but this week I can.