Some nights after I put the small one down for the night. Read the bedtime story, had a snuggle, a kiss and another. Switched off the light, said goodnight and a kiss one more… I curl up on the sofa, my fluffy brown fleece blanket drapped around me for warmth and breathe out a contented sigh. My small one tucked up safely. The dogs – one big, one small – fed and prowling the night air. The hubby stretched out in the black leather recliner, arms folded across chest engrossed in yet another documentary.
Quite simple bliss… With one eye on the telly I surround myself with my overgrown collection of beautiful hardback cookbooks, scattered, but neatly, and flick ramdomly through pages of mouth-watering recipes and beautiful images. Searching for my next ingredients… my next challenge… my next idea for styling my baked goods and all this whilst wondering what little story I can tell you.
And with so many books to rummage through and so many recipes to choose from I forget myself in time and only startle myself back to reality by the howls of our restless dogs, who have once again joined in the nightly countryside dog chorus ritual. The documentary over, I glance across at the hubby who’s now softly snoring. It’s late. It’s very late. I need to sleep, but not before I skim back through my mental notes and decide on this flourless Orange Chocolate Torte. Perfect.
Orange Chocolate Torte
Serves 8-10 • Baking time: Approx 50-60 minutes • Adapted from The Baking Book
100g milk chocolate
6 medium eggs
225g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
Grated zest and juice of 1 mandarin orange
Mandarin orange slices
1. Preheat oven to 190/Gas mark 5/170 (fan). Grease and line a 24cm springform cake tin.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture has tripled in size and is thick and foamy.
4. Gently fold the almonds, orange zest and juice into the mixture.
5. Pour two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Fold the melted butter and chocolate into the remaining mixture and pour into the tin. Swirl once or twice to create a marbled effect.
6. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Leave to cool in tin. Decorate with mandarin orange segments and serve with fresh cream.