Tea is serious business in Britain. People have a very specific way they like to make their tea, and they get, some might say, unreasonably upset when someone suggests that it could be done differently. Do you put the milk in before the water? Do you take the tea bag out before adding the milk? Are you a loose leaf tea snob? Everybody has their way, and it’s the only way.
For the record, I add the sugar and the tea bag to the cup while the kettle is boiling, this way the sugar will dissolve more easily in the very hot water. The water should be added within 30 seconds of the kettle clicking off so it’s at maximum heat. Let it steep for two minutes (while you wash dishes), then remove the tea bag, add a splash of glug of milk, give it a quick stir, and enjoy. My husband does it differently. We’re still together, and it’s fine.
Brits aren’t nearly as fussy about cake from what I can tell. Not that this cake is less than awesome. In fact, it’s pretty damn amazing, and entirely Brit approved. Chocolate Orange Cake tastes exactly like those orange-shaped chocolates you get at Christmas. It’s heavenly.
The brown sugar gives it a deep richness and it stays tender for days, not that it will last that long. It’s simple to make and pleases nearly everyone, even picky British people.
I love the British. I love tea. And I most especially love this Chocolate Orange Cake. Try to put all three together if you can.
Chocolate Orange Cake
Chocolate Orange Cake is perfect with tea and makes everyone happy.
- 150 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup
- 175 grams dark brown sugar
- 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 25 cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Preheat your oven to 170C (350F) and line a loaf tin with parchment. If you can get those cute loaf tin liners, they work great.
- Beat together the the butter, golden syrup, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
- With the mixer on lower, add a big spoonful of the flour mixture followed by an egg and beat until combined. Add another scoop or two of flour and the second egg, and then finally mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Scrape down the sides of your bowl, then zest your orange into the batter and squeeze in the orange juice. Give it all one last spin with the mixture until smooth.
- Pour the batter into your waiting pan and bake for 40 minutes. It's okay if your cake tester comes out with a few bits.
- Allow it to cool before slicing and eating with tea.
- Golden syrup is extremely sticky, but a dab of vegetable oil in your tablespoon will help the syrup pour out more easily.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson