Tuesday 9 June 2015

Cranberry, White Chocolate and Orange Cake

Oven update: still no closer to getting one :(

Meanwhile, I managed to bake this wonderful cake for my mum's birthday courtesy of my friend Ellen and her oven (well her parent's oven - theoretically speaking), anyhow, this cake was a last minute decision but a great one... if I don't say so myself!

I've never really used dried cranberries as the main 'star of the show' ingredient in anything before and I have to say me and mum were pleasantly surprised at how plump and flavoursome they were. The cranberries worked brilliantly - more so than glace cherries, gasp I know!! 

The tartness of cranberries works well with the sweetness of white chocolate and the little hint of zesty orange at the end to just perk it up a bit more.  (Excuse my chipped nail polish!)

If you're used to making cakes the english way like I am, then you probably will find creating a crumb-like consistency a bit cuckoo - like your making some weird pastry/crumble. But it actually makes for a lovely light textured cake that you don't get by the creaming/all in one method that us brits are used to. 

I suppose there is something a little festive about this cake but it goes down equally well on a warm, sunny summer day too!

Cranberry, White Chocolate and Orange Cake

Recipe adapted from 'The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home Book'


For the sponge:
140g butter, softened 
420g plain flour
400g caster sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
520ml milk
4 eggs
120g dried cranberries 
zest of 1 orange

For the frosting:
60g white chocolate
500g icing sugar
160g butter, softened 
50ml milk

For the decoration:
20g dried cranberries
white chocolate curls
orange zest


Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F/ gas 3. Grease and line 3 x 20cm/8 inch cake tins. In a bowl mix the flour, caster sugar and baking powder together and then add in the butter and keep mixing until it forms a breadcrumb consistency. 

Pour the milk and eggs into a jug and whisk together, then slowly pour and mix into the crumb mixture until you have a nice smooth batter. Then stir in the cranberries and orange zest. Spoon the batter equally amongst the 3 prepared cake tins and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and springs back to touch. 

To make the frosting, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave on a low heat. Beat together the butter and icing sugar with an electric whisk or freestanding mixer and gradually pour in the milk  to make a smooth, light and fluffy frosting. Then once your white chocolate is melted and cooled slightly, add to the frosting and continue to beat well for a few minutes until all evenly combined. 

To assemble the cake, generously spoon on lots of frosting onto the first cake layer and repeat until you have sandwiched each layer together. Finish with a good amount on top and decorate with more cranberries, orange zest and chill some more white chocolate in the fridge and use a sharp (non -serrated) knife to scrape across the smooth side of the chocolate to create little curls/shavings. Enjoy! This cake keeps well in an air-tight container for several days. 

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