Originally, I had planned that this post would have more of a festive theme but the words didn’t come. The holiday snacking cake is now gone and still, not a festive thought in my head.
All week, I thought about the upcoming weekend. During a heatwave in July, I had received tickets to The National concert in Toronto. The concert, once so far away, was just around the corner (December 9th, to be exact). Packing had to be done, the house had to be tidied and last-minute arrangements made. I am always anxious leading up to a weekend away but once I am on the road, I am at ease.
I was introduced to The National one evening at a friend’s house. Conversation gave way to listening to the music on Dark was the Night; an album of fierce talent and creativity by both known and lesser known indie bands. The song, “So Far Around the Bend”, became a sort of anthem for my husband and I. We soon devoured the albums they released and eagerly awaited their new releases.
I’ll spare you from having to read paragraphs about my love for this band. Rather, I’ll just say that they have been on most road trips with us and in the background when we make dinner. They have not been to many dance parties with us but I like to think they are a part of the musical history that we will pass on to our children. Music, after all, is part of the fabric of our lives. Below are some lyrics from a favourite song on mine. What are you listening to right now?
This spelt flour cake is not flashy or one to catch the eye but the hint of orange and warm chocolate sauce make it perfect for the holiday season. It has a surprisingly delicate, moist crumb. Make it ahead and serve it at room temperature with a cup of tea.
Orange Spelt Cake with Warm Chocolate Sauce
Makes: 10 servings
Time: Prep Time (25 minutes) + Baking time 50-60 minutes + Cooling Time
Spelt Orange Cake
1 1/3 cups (300 g) unsalted butter, cool to room temperature
1 1/3 cups (300 g) granulated sugar, divided (reserve ¼ cup or 55 g)
Orange zest from 1 orange plus more for the topping
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup plus 1.5 tsp (100 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup (150 g) wholegrain spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp fine grained sea salt
2/3 cup (150 g) freshly squeeze orange juice (about 3 medium oranges), divided (reserve ¼ cup or 55 g)
1/3 cup plus 1.5 tbsp (100 g) whipping cream
1 cup (250 ml) water
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (160 g) light corn syrup or agave nectar
3/4 cup (75 g) cocoa powder
55 g (2 ounces) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
1. Add ¼ cup (55 g) of sugar and ¼ of the orange juice (55 g) to a saucepan. Set aside.
2. Line with parchment paper and lightly butter a 20 cm (8 inch) springform pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
3. Cream the butter with the remaining sugar (1 cup plus 2 tbsp or 250 g) and the zest. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together and fold into the batter. Fold the remaining orange juice in and then the cream. The batter will be thick. Pour into the prepared pan and quickly even out the top using the back of a spoon. Bake for 50-60 minutes. The top of the cake will be a little browned.
5. While the cake is baking, make the chocolate sauce and the orange glaze.
For the chocolate sauce, whisk the water, sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it reaches a boil, remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Allow to warm slightly and then stir to incorporate the chocolate into the sauce. Let the sauce stand for an hour before serving to allow it to thicken.
For the orange sauce, heat the sugar and orange juice on medium until it thickens.
6. Pour the orange sauce over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let it cool in the pan for an hour before removing the sides.
Serve with warm chocolate sauce.
Cake adapted from Scandinavian Baking: Sweet and Savoury Cakes and Bakes, for Bright Days and Cozy Nights by Trine Hahnemann and Chocolate Sauce recipe from David Lebovitz.