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Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

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Make Ahead Tip:
The cake can be baked up to 3 days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in airtight container. Will keep for 5 days total.

Freeze Ahead Tip:
The cake can be frozen, tightly wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • dab flavorless vegetable oil, for greasing syrup spoon
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup (such as Lyle's), or dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons best-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • zest 2 regular oranges and juice of 1
  • 1 x 2-pound loaf pan

Details

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 325 F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the sides, or line with a paper loaf-pan liner.
Beat the already soft butter with the syrup and the sugar until you have a fairly smooth caffe Americano cream, though the sugar will have a bit of grit about it.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder together, and beat 1 tablespoonful of the dry ingredients before beating in 1 egg into the syrup mixture. Then add another couple of spoonfuls of the dry ingredients before beating in the second egg.
Carry on beating in the remaining dry ingredients and then add, still beating, the orange zest and finally, gradually, the juice. At this stage, the batter may suddenly look dimpled, as if slightly curdled. No need to panic!
Pour and scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, though check 5 minutes before and be prepared to keep it in the oven 5 minutes longer if need be. A cake tester won't come out entirely clean, as the point of this cake, light though it may be, is to have just a hint of inner stickiness. Let cool a little in its pan on a wire rack, then turn out with care and leave on the rack to cool.

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