26 October 2014

Halloween


So today didn’t quite go according to plan.
I had the best intentions- to have a leisurely morning strolling the shops and buying ingredients and then spending all afternoon baking, styling and shooting- with Sam Smith on full volume, a cup of earl grey and the beautiful Spanish October sun peeping through the window on a Sunday afternoon.  
What actually happened was a panicked manic run through the streets of Malsana, realising just how little baking equipment I had in my flat and questioning how I was ever going to make a cake without weighing scales!
(Who am I kidding- this cake looks as though its been made with a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl and not much else!)
Coco powder just doesn’t really seem to exist here in Spain and double cream is even more of a mystery!
But eventually I tracked them down and set about turning my little Spanish kitchen into an absolute bomb-site!
I was aiming to create a chocolate extravaganza, perfect to celebrate Halloween.
The original plan was to fill the cake with a chocolate orange buttercream and then to top with chocolate ganache and a white chocolate cobweb pattern.
However, today it was just not meant to be and so I ended up with a very messy (but still delicious) chocolate cake topped with a whole array of icing attempts!
Therefore if like me, you are a messy pup in the kitchen- this recipe is for you. The basis of the cake is a super moist chocolate orange sponge made with dark chocolate. And then the rest is up to you- I filled mine with fresh cream and topped it with layer of melted milk chocolate, white chocolate swirls and grated dairy milk! If you have small children around- leave them to it!
I know I'm a bit early for Halloween but in my opinion, it's a good reason for anything chocolate and sweet related. It's not really celebrated in Spain - it took me a good few hours just to find a pumpkin!
But if you're back home and looking for some inspiration for a dinner party or something to take to a friends this halloween then look no further. 


The truth is, living in a new country is hard. I'm not going to lie and pretend that I'm eating paella every night, dancing Flamenco every weekend and enjoying an afternoon siesta. 
Speaking a new language 24/7, making new friends and just adapting to a completely new culture is a real challenge- I'm exhausted. But I'm also learning to relax into a completely different style of living and frame of mind. Everybody here is just so chilled!! 
Baking is one of those things lets me stop for a minute and think. It's time for myself and something that reminds me of home and cosy Autumn nights. Plus Spanish people just really don't do cakes like us British!

Ingredients:

125g dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa solids)
200g butter
100ml water
Juice of 1 orange
225g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
50g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
3 large eggs (or 4 small)
Zest of 1 orange

Double cream
Chocolate


Method:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. 

Put the butter, chocolate, fresh orange juice and water in a medium-sized saucepan over a low heat and melt until smooth and combined. 
Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 
In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cocoa and caster sugar, 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the orange zest and then gradually whisk in the chocolate mixture. 
Fold in the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon until you have a smooth cake batter. 
Pour into two greased and lined 23cm circular cake tins and then bake in the centre of the oven for 25-35 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes before tuning them out of their tins and onto a wire cooling rack. 

Fill the cake with your choice of fresh cream, chocolate buttercream or whipped orange flavoured frosting. 
Top with whatever you fancy! I made a simple milk chocolate ganache by melting 300ml cream over a medium heat until simmering. Pour the hot cream over 150g milk chocolate and stir until smooth. I then pop this into the freezer for half an hour or so to firm up before spreading over the top of the cake. 




Have a great Halloween!





2 comments:

  1. Katie, don't worry about finding it hard on your year abroad. I COMPLETELY know how you feel, but it gets easier, I promise. This cake looks divine, and I totally feel your pain re the lack of British cakes abroad! xxx

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  2. Wow, well done on saving your stressful day and turning out this lovely cake (with super cute styling!).
    Moving to a completely new country must be quite daunting so congrats on that. I'm sure in time you'll feel right at home there! If they don't do cakes like us Brits then I'm sure you'll be able to use baked goods to win friends! :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's really appreciated and lovely to hear some feedback. Katie x