I would especially love to be a cooking blog, like the ever-amazing smitten kitchen or my friend's blog The Church Cook with their yummy recipes and photos that make me want to lick the computer screen.
But unfortunately I am not that kind of cook or photographer, but indulge me if you will as I - the Borneo Mama who's been living in Papua for eight months and really needs to change her blog name - share with you a recipe I have become downright passionate about.
Living overseas has been so good for my culinary skills. If we'd never left the U.S., I wonder if I would ever have taken the time to learn to make sausage, tortillas, bagels, pickles, yogurt, petits fours? Probably not - most definitely NOT the petits fours. Here in the land where it's all made from scratch (except pasta - I can buy pasta, hallelujah) it's learn to cook or learn to love Indonesian takeout. I've learned to do both.
I digress. The recipe is one I've adapted from celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, who, during the closing credits on her tv cooking show, is often shown standing in front of the fridge late at night, eating leftovers. I love Nigella. And I am in love with this cake recipe, with its chocolatey goodness and hint of orange. It's easy to make and doesn't leave a ton of leftovers that I will be tempted to consume en masse the next day.
Cooking overseas, you learn to make substitutions for ingredients you don't have. Most substitutions don't make a huge impact on the recipe (yogurt for sour cream, milk and vinegar for buttermilk) but some are so far-fetched you don't even want to bother (like the desperate missionary recipe I saw for apple pie that calls for substituting saltine crackers for the apples. Seriously. ) In this recipe there is no substituting the orange. I almost did when I made this the other night. All I had was some random peach juice and I debated using that, but then I thought, no, I love this cake for the orange. Must have orange. Fresh orange. So off went Holsten Child #1 to borrow an orange from a neighbor. Thank you, neighbor.
So without further ado, Nigella's cake.
1 ¼ sticks butter, softened
2 T. golden syrup (I use honey)
1 c. brown sugar (I use palm sugar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Zest of 2 small oranges (1 T.)
Juice of 1 small orange (3 T.)
1 c. flour
½ t. baking soda
3 T. cocoa
Beat together butter, syrup (or honey), and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, and add to butter mixture alternatively with eggs. Add orange zest and juice.
Bake 45 minutes in greased loaf pan @ 325.
Best served warm with whipped cream and orange slices. Next best is eaten the day after with a cup of coffee.