Terry’s Chocolate Orange Traybake

Moist chocolate sponge cake topped with my favourite silky smooth and shiny dark chocolate ganache and decorated with chocolate orange confectionery. This recipe is one to bookmark for the festive season! 

So after sharing these Vegan Brownies last month, I’m carrying on the chocolate theme today with this scrumptious traybake recipe!

I’m sitting here typing away while eating a piece of this cake and writing this blog post and I’m in complete and utter cake heaven. This yummy cake is soft, spongey and has a lovely chocolate flavour and a hint of orange that comes through in the background.

Dare I say the C-word?! Christmas is getting nearer and this year I’m getting ready ahead of time and trying to get as organised as I can in time. In typical Jessica fashion, I tend to end up running out to time to share my Christmas bakes before the big day arrives, but not this year as I’m determined to get through my list of recipes to make!

As it’s now November, from today onwards until Christmas I’ll be sharing recipes for the festive season and hopefully there’ll be recipes on here for when you fancy doing a spot of home baking!

Christmas this year will be little different to anything we’ve experienced before, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate (while keeping our loved ones and ourselves safe) and have a good time with lots of yummy food on our table. I’m working this year, so we’ll be having our Christmas dinner in the evening when I’m home from work. Boxing Day will be for relaxing and eating all the leftovers – something I’m very excited about regardless of the difficult situation we’re all facing at the moment.

A big part of Christmas for me and like many others is the food, comforting recipes that put a smile on your face, something I think we could all do with now. There’s certain ingredients that remind me of Christmas, it wouldn’t be Christmastime without Terry’s chocolate orange. As my family and I aren’t fans of your typical Christmas foods like mince pies or Christmas cake/pudding we have to be a bit more creative. You can tell how much of big fan of TCO I really am because I have a number of recipes which incorporate my favourite chocolate including this cheesecake, these cupcakes and these cookies!

This year TCO has given us an extra special Christmas gift by bringing back their famous white chocolate Terry’s chocolate orange. Everyone in my house has their favourite TCO flavour, mine is definitely the classic milk chocolate, but my sister loves dark chocolate oranges.

I’ve mentioned before that I like baking traybake cakes instead of layer cakes. I find layer cakes difficult to put together and baking is all about having fun and not worrying too much – I don’t want to stress about whether the layers are all even or if my cake is going to fall apart –  this is a true story from a recent baking fail I had, I can laugh about it now but at the time I was beyond annoyed!

This is my go-to chocolate traybake. I chose to decorate mine with chocolate ganache, but you can swap the ganache for a chocolate buttercream or any favourite buttercream for that matter. I love this ganache recipe and if you feel like upping the chocolate orange flavour even more then you can use orange flavoured dark chocolate.

I used my Chocolate Traybake recipe and adapted it slightly to put a Xmas spin on the original version. I think there’s a traybake recipe for every season, in spring for Easter I love this Carrot Cake Traybake, in autumn I’m excited for my Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and now I have my Terry’s Chocolate Orange Traybake for the festive season! The final piece in the jigsaw puzzle is a summer traybake creation, but that’s something to work on next year…

So let’s run through how to prepare this scrumptious chocolate traybake. The first step is preheating your oven, once you’ve done that you’ll need to boil a kettle and mix cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda with boiling water, mix those ingredients together until combined and then leave the mixture to cool for 20 minutes. Now in a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and orange zest to release the natural oil in the orange, then add the eggs and vegetable oil and whisk until smooth. Add the chocolatey mixture you prepared earlier along with the flour. Give it one more quick whisk and then pour the cake batter in a traybake tin.

Bake the cake until it’s risen and a cake tester comes out without any uncooked batter attached to the tester. Now allow the cake to cool completely in the tin, as the cake is cooling it’s the ideal time to get the ganache prepared ready for decorating the cake later as the ganache will need leaving for a couple of hours to firm up.

Ganache is basically a really fancy spreadable chocolate icing. It’s not too sweet and is super simple to make: just take some dark chocolate (you can use orange flavoured dark chocolate here too) and chop the chocolate up. Place the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Take a small pan and heat double cream and a tablespoon of golden syrup until just simmering and bubbles are appearing on the surface. Pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate and stir gently until mostly melted, then stir in a tablespoon of butter. Cover the very top of the ganache with clingfilm and leave it at room temperature for two hours until spreadable.

Once it’s ready, spread the ganache evenly across the top of the cake and decorate with the chocolate orange confectionery. I went for a mix of milk chocolate and mini white chocolate orange segments and chocolate orange sweets.

(Serves 15-20)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake:

75g cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

200ml boiling water

370g light brown sugar

Zest from one large orange

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

180ml vegetable oil

200g self-raising flour, sifted

Chocolate Ganache:

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces – if you want even more chocolate orange flavour then use orange dark chocolate

200ml double cream

1 tablespoon golden syrup

1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)

Decoration:

Milk Terry’s Chocolate Orange

White Terry’s Chocolate Orange – I used mini segments

Orange Chocolate M&M’s/Smarties

Sprinkles of your choice

Method:

  1. To make the cake: In a small bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Mix until combined and then set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 23cm x 30cm baking tin that’s at least 4cm deep with baking parchment.
  3. In a large mixing bowl rub the orange zest into the sugar to release the natural oil, then whisk the together with the eggs and oil until thoroughly combined. Add the chocolate mixture to this and whisk again until incorporated. Finally, add the flour and whisk until  fully mixed.
  4. Pour the cake batter into the cake tin. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Once the cake is baked, leave it to cool in the cake tin completely.
  5. To make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear on the surface and just before it starts to come up to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until mostly melted. Now add the butter and continue to stir until smooth. Directly place a piece of clingfilm on the top of the ganache and leave it at room temperature for about two hours until spreadable. Decorate the cake with the chocolate orange segments and your choice of additional sprinkles. Leave the cake to set at room temperature for a couple of hours before slicing into squares.

The traybake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you feel your cake is drying out, revive it by popping a piece into a microwave and heating gently until the chocolate is melted and the cake is warm – this is really yummy with the molten chocolate so I recommend you give it a try!

Enjoy!

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Vegan Brownies

Supremely fudgy chocolate brownies made completely vegan. You wouldn’t guess these chocolatey brownies are dairy free and made without any butter or eggs! 

Hey readers! Today I’m changing it up and sharing a vegan bake I’m hoping you’ll fall in love with these brownies just as we have! Sometimes I like to delve in and do something different, come out of my comfort zone and share some vegan bakes.

My sister and I are both really into vegan food and we’re on the quest to find lots of vegan recipes to make. We’ve recently started switching our usual milk based products for plant-based alternatives and you really can’t tell the difference – such as this Creamy Porcini Mushroom Pasta we now make this yummy Italian pasta dish with oat cream and it tastes amazing and in our porridge for brekkie we use oat milk. It’s great to see how many vegan products are hitting our supermarket shelves, there’s a lot more choice available.

Back in January when partaking in Veganuary we baked some vegan recipes for the blog – I discovered a great Vegan Banana Bread and during January I started my journey to find a vegan brownie recipe. Unfortunately my baking that day didn’t go entirely to plan and I wasn’t successful finding the perfect vegan brownie recipe. The brownies I made were not pleasant at all, they were stodgy and didn’t have the texture I was aiming for, however we reluctantly tasted them, but they were thrown straight in the bin and the search for a blog worthy vegan brownie continued!

These brownies I photographed for my blog are only the second time I’ve baked vegan brownies so I was elated to finally land on a brilliant vegan brownie recipe and one I was happy enough to share.

Making a delicious vegan brownie isn’t an easy task. But these brownies are truly incredible, they’re rich even without butter, fudgy without eggs added and taste so chocolatey thanks to addition of both dark chocolate and cocoa powder. I wanted to bake a brownie that didn’t use any unusual ingredients a lot of vegan bakes call for. Many vegan brownie recipes ask for flax eggs, but I figured like myself most people don’t have flaxseeds/linseeds and other ingredients in their pantry or readily available where they live around the world.

Whilst we’re on the subject of vegan recipes, I’ve also got a number of vegan friendly savoury and sweet recipes of which I’m always looking to expand and add more to. Check them out below – most of them are savoury, so I’m endeavouring to share more vegan bakes in the future, so watch this space…

Here are some of my vegan recipes listed below for you to try:

Basic Homemade Granola

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo)

Mum’s Apple and Blackberry Crumble – this recent recipe on my blog is easily made vegan by swapping the butter for vegan butter or dairy-free spread

Paprika Roasted Potatoes

Patatas Bravas

Perfect Popcorn

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Penne all’Arrabbiata

Vegan Banana Bread

White Bread Rolls and 50/50 Bread Rolls

Which is your favourite: the centre or edge piece of brownie?

The brownies in the centre are definitely my go-to, I love brownies super fudgy so I love a centre piece of brownie because they’re always extra gooey. If you like those warm, molten chocolate lava cakes then take one of these brownies and give it a quick blast in the microwave and it goes all soft and gooey – your kitchen also gets filled with a divine chocolate aroma when they’re heated up!

If you feel like switching the recipe up a bit, I’ve seen lots of recipes where bakers have swirled melted peanut butter or cookie butter spread into the brownie batter before baking, so next time I’ll be trying that.

These brownies are addictive and I had ZERO control around them, I found it hard work resisting going back for piece after piece of brownie, but luckily for me I had some willing taste testers who didn’t mind having a helping of these fabulous brownies too!

(Makes 16)

Ingredients:

200g dark chocolate – I use 74% cocoa solids but ensure the chocolate contains no milk

140g plain flour

200g caster or granulated sugar

20g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

80ml vegetable oil

240ml plant milk – I like using soya milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Half a packet (approx. 7) Oreo cookies, Biscoff, Bourbon Cream Biscuits (all three of these are suitable for vegans) – these are optional

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Break the dark chocolate up and add to a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (bain-marie) – make sure the base of the bowl is not directly touching the water. Gently melt the dark chocolate until it’s smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder. Give these ingredients a quick whisk together to combine then whisk in the oil, plant milk and vanilla extract until you have a smooth batter. Finally whisk in the melted chocolate until incorporated.
  4. Transport the brownie batter to the lined tin. At this point you can top the brownies with vegan biscuits/cookies or extra vegan chocolate chips/chunks. We topped ours before baking with half a packet (7 biscuits/cookies) Oreos broken into smaller pieces.
  5. Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting to 12-16 squares. We left ours overnight before cutting. The brownies will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Recipe adapted from Sweetest Menu

Enjoy!

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Ganache Frosted Fudge Brownies

Bake yourself these chocolate fudge brownies frosted with dark chocolate ganache ready for when a chocolate craving hits. These brownies have a delectable truffle-like texture and are dangerously good served with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. 

I’ve taken my go-to Chocolate Fudge Brownies to the next level of deliciousness by covering them in silky smooth chocolate ganache and topping with M&M chocolates (FYI I actually didn’t realise until now that the last two recipes I’ve shared have both contained M&M’s!). Decorate and dress up your batch of brownies as you wish, you can leave them plain or beautify them as much as you want.

As the title describes these brownies are scrumptiously fudgy in texture just like a rich chocolate truffle, so if you’re more into cakey brownies then this recipe might not be what you’re looking for, but that said this brownie recipe has converted even the most chocolate dessert loathing person I know!

I’m a lover of all types of brownies, both cakey and fudge, but these fudge brownies have the edge for me.

This recipe is little more lengthy than other brownie recipes but it’s definitely well worth the wait. I say this because once baked, the brownies will need to be left to set for at least 6 hours, I usually make mine in advance and leave them overnight, then the ganache will need to be left to set at room temperature for an additional couple of hours on top of that.

The brownies are best stored in the fridge and because I baked mine on a really hot day, I found that my ganache took a little longer to set because of the heat and the brownies were very soft (just something to take into account). They’re far easier to slice up into pieces when they’ve been chilled for a while in the fridge, plus once they’ve been in the fridge they go all dense and even yummier in my opinion!

This is the perfect treat yourself brownie – it has tonnes of chocolate flavour and the ganache layer just makes these even more special!

We love these brownies as they are even without the luxurious ganache topping, however I feel the ganache makes these into a restaurant-worthy dessert. My sister and I took the M&M’s off a couple of squares of these brownies and microwaved them for about 20-30 seconds and the brownies went all gooey and reminded us of a molten lava chocolate pudding.

These brownies are an all-round favourite and this recipe will not let you down. Grab your apron and ingredients and get ready to bake up a storm and some of the most sinful brownies you’ll ever taste!

(Makes approx. 16-24 small pieces)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Fudge Brownies:

200g butter (salted or unsalted), cut into small cubes

200g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 large free-range eggs

2 large free-range egg yolks

270g caster sugar

115g plain flour

35g cocoa powder

Chocolate Ganache:

200g dark chocolate, cut into 2cm pieces

200ml double cream

1 tablespoon golden syrup

1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)

Method:

  1. To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 160°C / 140°C Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20cm) square tin with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate over a bain-marie or in the microwave in 20-second intervals until completely melted and smooth. Set this mixture aside and leave it to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile whisk the eggs and egg yolks together until combined. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly, add the egg mixture and stir to combine.
  4. In large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and sugar, sift the cocoa powder over the top and mix until thoroughly combined and no lumps of flour remain.
  5. Now add the chocolate mixture and stir until combined, try not to over mix otherwise this may result in your baked brownies being tough. Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake the brownies for 40-45 minutes, they’ll be ready when they’re risen, the top has started to slightly crack and a cake tester when inserted into the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  6. Leave the brownies to cool completely in the tin, then once cooled leave them to set for at least 6 hours or overnight for best results.
  7. To make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear on the surface and just before it starts to come up to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until mostly melted. Now add the butter and continue to stir until smooth. Directly place a piece of clingfilm on the top of the ganache and leave it at room temperature for about two hours until spreadable.
  8. Every spread the ganache on top of the now cooled brownie and further decorate as you desire – I decorated mine with M&M chocolates, at this point I highly recommend chilling the brownies for a bit before slicing.
  9. When ready to serve, slice the brownies into 16-24 squares – because of the ganache layer you might want to cut the pieces a little smaller as these brownies are very rich. Brownies will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe Notes:

  • My oven is fan assisted and even though the recipe states to bake the brownies at 140°C Fan, I’ve always baked mine at 160°C Fan instead to ensure they’re not too undercooked.
  • Serve the brownies as they are or with ice cream, pouring or whipped cream and fruit. I like to serve my brownies with fruit, because it cuts through the richness of the brownie.
  • Usually I would say this brownie (without the ganache) serves about 16, however with the ganache layer they’re even more decadent so I reckon you could slice the brownies into 24 smaller pieces.

Enjoy!

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