But what struck me most about the place (being the greedy piglet that I am) was the gorgeous, home cooked food that's included in the break. It's nourishing and comforting and most importantly, delicious. It happens to be vegetarian but you actually wouldn't even notice. Upon chatting to the cook, Claire, I discovered that they sell Orange Tree cookbooks. Cute little string bound collections of recipes that you really want to make. Ed very kindly suggested I take one, so I am offering it as a giveaway. To win, enter a comment below (maybe you want to make a comment to your mum, or about chocolate cake... whatever you like). I will choose a comment and send the book at the end of this month (March 2013).
We ate this cake on the Saturday night of the hen do (after an amazing veggie lasagne, I hope to post that soon also), served with Greek yoghurt. It was so and light. I admit that my cake is still *in tact as we are saving it till Sunday! So I hope it will be as nice as the one that Claire made. It looks great and, as all of my stuff that I post on here is, super duper easy peasy to make. If you do make it for you mum, I would love to hear about it, so post a comment and who knows, you may win a delightful book in the process.
*5 minutes after posting, we decided to 'test' it! It was amazing, one of the best cakes I've ever made. This is my new, go-to chocolate cake recipe. Thanks Claire!
To make the cake, which serves about 8-12 for dessert:
250g dark chocolate
125g ground almonds
120g caster sugar
2 tablespoons double cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm springform tin (I used a 19cm sandwich tin and it worked fine).
- Melt your chocolate and vanilla in a bowl over simmering water. Add your cream and set aside to cool a little.
- Separate your eggs. Whisk your whites to soft peaks.
- Mix your yolks with the almonds and sugar. Then add your cooled chocolate (it needn't be totally cooled).
- Fold in your whites.
- Pour your batter into the tin and cook for 40-50 minutes. Mine was ready at 45 minutes - I covered it loosely with a bit of foil at 35 minutes as the top was beginning to colour slightly. Test with a skewer to see if it's done. It should come out clean.
- Leave to cool in tin for 15 minutes before cooling on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar. Serve with creme fraiche or Greek yoghurt.