Baking a Cranberry, White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Loaf Cake

The Christmas season is very nearly over. But if you are like me- holding onto the festive eating traditions for as long as possible, and looking for ways to use up Christmas groceries, then look no further than this recipe to be your saviour sweet hit! 

 This week I baked a fresh Cranberry, White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Loaf Cake. I am sure you agree we sometimes buy into the festive groceries without knowing what we will use them for. So here I am with a punnet of fresh cranberries and wondering what to do with them all. This is always great inspiration for me to come up with a loaf cake recipe.

I thought white chocolate and macadamia nut is a perfect combination to go with the fresh cranberries. Say goodbye to christmas and use up your festive ingredients with this wonderful loaf cake. We only have a few more days till we are all back at work and signing up for gym memberships! 

 This cake is quite heavy, because the cranberries, white chocolate and macadamia nut provide the cake with a lot of moisture when baked. So it may take a little while to cook. I recommend that you put some foil over the tin while cooking after about 45 minutes. This will ensure you can bake for longer without it catching on top.

INGREDIENTS 

For the Cake 

  • 225g unsalted butter, softened, plus a little to line the tin. 
  • 225g caster sugar 
  • 4 eggs beaten 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted 
  • 150g fresh cranberries 
  • 125g macadamia nuts 
  • 150g white chocolate chips 

 For the Topping 

  •  100g white chocolate, melted 
  • 150g fresh cranberries
    a pinch of icing sugar to dust

Method

  • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment, making sure the paper comes up higher than the sides. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then add the eggs, a little at a time, along with the vanilla. Fold in the flour until you have a smooth mixture. 
  • Cut all the cranberries in half and dust in a little flour, then carefully stir the fruit and chocolate into the mixture. Chop the macadamia nuts roughly into small chunks and fold in to the mixture. Spoon into the prepared tin. 
  •  Bake for 1 hr 10 mins - 1 hr 15 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Because this cake is quite heavy and there is a lot of moisture, it can take a little longer, but best to keep checking and cover with foil if it starts to catch. Make sure you don’t mistake melted chocolate for raw cake mix. Leave to cool in the tin for a few mins, then turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 
  •  Melt the white chocolate and use a fork to swish the melted chocolate over the cooled cake. Then place the whole cranberries on top, the chocolate should ensure they stick. Finally, dust with icing sugar. 

Baking a Terry’s Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

Merry Christmas everyone! This week I am sharing with you a special Christmas themed loaf cake. The inspiration came as I received a Terry’s chocolate orange as a gift and I thought what better way to use it than create a fun new loaf cake recipe. One of my housemates has also been hinting for me to make one as this is his favourite chocolate ever. I don’t know about you, but in the UK I see a lot of chocolate orange flavours flying around. And we certainly see a lot of Terry’s chocolate Orange boxes given as gifts during the season. So it could be a nice change for a lot of you to try something new with this delicious treat. This cake packs a chocolate punch and the flavours act perfectly together. The sponge is sturdy enough to take the balance of the heavy topping. It is a real treat, but this can only be expected at Christmas time.

I decided to try out another first for my blog too, by making a marble loaf cake. I thought this was the perfect way to combine the two flavours of chocolate and orange throughout the sponge. The brown swirls are formed with cocoa and milk, then the white has orange juice and orange zest.

The cake is then topped with an orange flavoured buttercream in order to hold the terry’s chocolate orange segments in place. It is very important to keep the Terry’s chocolate orange refrigerated right up until the last minute, it is harder to place them neatly when the chocolate is at room temperature, as your fingers can melt them and it can be quite messy. I layered the segments individually on top to create a pattern.

Optionally, you can decorate with a drizzle of white chocolate too. This really makes the cake look christmasy and gives a slight contrast to the pattern. I then added a sprinkle of orange zest on top of the white chocolate. You may feel a bit of a chocolate overload at this point, so don’t feel obliged.

I am sorry this post is after christmas! I ideally wanted to upload this before, but the hustle and bustle got to me and I didn’t have a spare second. This cake is great any time of year of course. 

 Ingredients 

  •  225g very soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g caster sugar 
  • 225g self-raising flour 
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  •  2 tbsp milk 
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder sifted 
  • 1 large orange (zest and 1 tbsp of juice) 

Topping 

  •  110g very soft unsalted butter 
  • 170g icing sugar 
  • 55g cocoa powder 
  • 1 orange (2-3 tbsp orange juice and the zest) 
  • 1 1/2 Terry’s chocolate orange balls, segments separated 
  • 100g white chocolate melted.


Method

  • Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a loaf tin (8 x 21cm/ 2lb) with baking parchment. 
  • Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and flour together in a large bowl with an free-standing mixer or electric hand whisk. 
  • Split the mixture into two bowls, beat the milk, followed by the cocoa powder into one. Beat the orange juice, zest and orange food colouring, if using, into the other. 
  • Spoon alternate dollops of the mixture into the cake tin, then use a skewer to create a marble pattern by dragging it through the mixture in swirls. Make sure you don’t overmix or you won’t see the pattern. Smooth the surface with a pallet knife lightly. 
  • Bake the cake for 45-50 mins until golden and risen, or until a skewer comes out clean. 
  • Leave the cake in the tin to cool for 20 minutes, then turn out.
  •  When the cake is completely cool, begin making the buttercream. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft, then gradually sift in the icing sugar. Stir in the orange juice to loosen the icing a bit until you reach the desired consistency. 
  • Spread the icing no top of the loaf cake, creating a relatively thick layer. Then add the chocolate orange segments to form a pattern on top. 

Baking an Earl Grey, Lemon and Blueberry Loaf Cake


Baking The Cake 


Week six of my baking loaf challenge can only mean one thing- Earl Grey, Lemon and Blueberry Loaf cake. My inspiration for this cake started when I thought of the classic tea loaf cakes, and the idea of using Earl Grey felt really intriguing. I thought to myself, what two additions will compliment this. Immediately the tartness of lemon sprang to my mind and the cool bitter-sweet bite of blueberries. I hoped these would react well with the calm aromatic aroma of Earl Grey.

When I was a very young child, my mother drank Earl Grey tea as her regular everyday brew. In a very British fashion, she added milk, and in a very my mother fashion, a lot of milk. At around 3 or 4 I was introduced to an even milkier version of in a small beaker, that she so creatively decided to call a ‘Warm Cupity Milky’. Essentially, Earl grey tea brewed for approximately 2 seconds, with one-third milk. This of course sounds utterly disgusting now, but back then I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. As I am sure a lot of you relate too, when you have had something many times before, you completely go off it. For years I thought I didn’t like tea, until I was about 10 years old my sister made me a regular English Breakfast and I couldn’t believe the revelation. When I got the idea for this cake, I of course had to revise a cup of Earl Grey. It’s taken 14 years, but I have rekindled a new adult appreciation for this wonderful tea.

I was so excited to use a beautiful traditional navy and white tea set I found this week in a charity shop. This cake is superb with of course, a lovely cup of Earl Grey Tea, a dollop of Greek yogurt and a great book to melt into on a Sunday afternoon. Pros and Cons The best thing about this cake is the unique flavouring. Each component compliments one another and is quite a relaxing blend. You are first hit with the zingy lemon, then the after taste of the Earl Grey sits nicely on the palate. My only con with this particular bake, is that my fruit did sink to the bottom a little! I forgot to coat the blueberries in a little flour.

Ingredients 

  • 1 Earl Grey Tea bag 
  • 80 g unsalted butter 
  • 100 g caster sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 60 ml yogurt Greek yogurt
    zest of 
  • 1 lemon 
  • 200 g plain flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 125 g blueberries coated in 1 tablespoon of plain flour
    For the Glaze:
  •  70 g icing sugar plus a extra tablespoon for dusting 
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon 
  • 50 g of blueberries


Method 

  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ (180 C)/ 350 F. 
  • Brew the Earl Grey Tea bag in 100 ml of boiled water for 10 minutes. 
  • Whilst this is brewing, melt the butter in a saucepan and remove from heat until relatively cool.
    While the butter is cooling beat the sugar and eggs into a large bowl, followed by greek yoghurt and lemon zest. Finally add the melted butter. Remove the tea bag from the water, pour the brewed tea into the bowl and stir together. Cut open the tea bag and stir the tea leaves into the bowl as well. 
  • Add the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and stir together until well combined. Stir in the blueberries.
  •  Pour the batter into a greased and lined loaf tin. Bake for around an hour, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack. 
  • When the cake is completely cool begin to decorate. Make the glaze by stirring together icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice . Pour over the loaf and decorate with blueberries, a sprinkle of the icing sugar and the lemon zest.
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