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Valentine’s Day Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake

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Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake

Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake is easy and unfussy, but it's still a special treat.

Everyone needs a simple, yummy Valentine’s treat, and this is ours this year. Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake is easy and unfussy, but still special enough for a Valentine’s treat.

Chocolate and orange are such a perfect pair, and this cake makes easy work of the task. It’s an uncomplicated chocolate loaf, that comes together in maybe 10 minutes, topped with an orange syrup made from fresh oranges and sugar. Nothing more. If you have 45 minutes and some pantry baking ingredients, you can serve this cake in about an hour.  It makes a lovely dessert and is delicious with a little whipped cream if you like that. It’s a great afternoon snack, and also sturdy enough to pack in a Valentine’s Day lunchbox. 

Or, if you really want to make it a special Valentine’s Day, serve a slice of Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake with some berries as breakfast. There will be lots of love coming your way for that.

Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Orange Drizzle Cake

Vegetable oil for pan
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges (about ½ cup), divided*
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil the bottom of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, and line it with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the brown sugar, and beat again until soft and creamy. Mix in the zest of 1 orange. In another bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa.

Whisk the eggs into the butter-sugar mixture one at a time, alternating with a little flour mixture. Fold in the remaining flour mixture. Add the milk. Stir until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. In a saucepan, combine the juice, remaining zest, and confectioners’ sugar. Place over low heat until the sugar dissolves. 

When the cake comes out of the oven, pierce it all over with a toothpick. Slowly drizzle the warm orange syrup over the warm cake so that it sinks in. Allow the cake to sit in the pan until it has cooled, then transfer to a serving plate.

*Nigella Lawson calls for Seville oranges, which she likes because they are less sweet than most. If you want to use Seville oranges but can’t find them, she suggests combining 6 tablespoons orange juice with 3 tablespoons lime juice.

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