Despite my promises of not buying new cookbooks I ended up with a handful of new titles at home; one of them is “From Season to Season – a Year in Recipes” and after going through the beautiful book I chose this delicious cake to be the first recipe to be tried from it, and I even made my own candied orange zest to use in it: after all, how can one resist a cake with a name like that? ;)
Almost mother-in-law cake
slightly adapted from the beautiful “From Season to Season – a Year in Recipes” (mine was bought here)
1 1/3 cups (300g) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups (500g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups (350g) all purpose flour, sifted
75g unsweetened cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) boiling water
finely grated zest + juice of 1 orange
1 cup (110g) pecans, chopped
¼ cup (60ml) heavy cream
75g dark chocolate, chopped
½ tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
candied orange zest, to decorate – recipe here
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 25cm (10in) springform cake pan, line the bottom with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Make the cake: in the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla. In low speed, beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, milk, water, orange zest and juice. Beat until smooth, fold in the pecans then pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake completely in the pan over a wire rack, then carefully unmold, removing the baking paper. Turn the cake onto a serving plate.
Make the ganache: heat the cream over medium heat in a small saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and butter and set aside for 1 minute. Mix until melted and smooth. Pour over the cake. When the ganache is set, top the cake with the candied orange zest.
Serves 8-10 – I made 2/3 of the cake recipe above using a 20cm (8in) round cake pan