This was the question I posed on Facebook last week:
You voted. I baked.
Three of my most favourite ingredients all lovingly crammed into one loaf. Three of my most favourite ingredients soon to be all lovingly crammed into my mouth. That's just how it works around here.
Today's tastetastic triumph comes from one of my fave baking bloggers, Miss Joy the Baker. I followed her recipe to the T apart from one small detail. As you may notice I took it upon myself to add an extra handful of dark chocolate chunks. And why wouldn't I?? Speaking of dark chocolate chunks, this is the variety I opted for since I thought the hint of orange would only enhance the citrus appeal of the loaf. And you know what? I was right. ;)
One of my favourite aspects of this recipe is the fragrant, orange sugar mixture. You rub orange zest into granulated sugar and this is what you get:
For the 2 tbsp of orange zest required for the mixture I needed to zest four oranges. Wait a sec! I did have four oranges. What on earth did I do with the other two?
The batter is thick and creamy and flecked with citrusy strands:
After an hour or so in the centre of your oven, and a house filled with the most heavenly smell imaginable, your loaf is ready. Stand back and admire:
Then slice into bite sized pieces:
Erm... I have a big mouth.
Here's the recipe:
- 250g/9 oz/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 300g/11oz/1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 226g/8oz package cream cheese, softened
- 170g/6oz/3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate pieces (I used 150g)
- Pre-heat your oven to 325ºf/160ºc and grease your loaf tin with some butter and then add a light dusting of flour.
- Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder and put to one side.
- On a chopping board or your kitchen counter rub the orange zest into the granulated sugar using the back of a spoon. (I loved this part!) Set aside for the moment.
- With a stand mixer or hand mixer beat the butter and cream cheese together until fully combined. You can stop every now and again to scrap down the sides of the bowl to ensure an even mix. Add the citrus sugar and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. It will only take 2-3 minutes.
- On medium speed beat in one egg at a time and after each addition, ensure you scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients in one fell swoop and beat until total incorporation! Grab your decadent chunks of choc and fold them in.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately one hour. Do keep an eye on the loaf, however, as it could take slightly less or more time according to your oven. 65 minutes worked for me. You'll know when the cake is ready if you dip a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Note: If you do find that the mixture is taking longer to bake than anticipated then you could cover the top with some kitchen foil and that way the top won't brown too much.