Over the last few weeks I have been experimenting with adding alcohol to cake to see how they flavour them.
The cakes have been a huge hit with my taste testers and they have really enjoyed and liked the flavours. They have been impressed that you can’t taste the alcohol, but it gives it a nice flavour.
Over the last two weeks I have been experimenting with Cointreau and chocolate. Cointreau is an orange flavoured liquor, and the end result should be chocolate orange once baked. These two flavours work really well together, the bitter taste of the chocolate marries well with the sweet/sour flavour of the orange.
Having never really drunk Cointreau I did not know what to expect with this cake and what I had not realised is how strong this liquor is. This took a couple of trials to get right, but I now think that I have the perfect recipe below.
Cake 1 –
I followed the gin and tonic cake recipe when making this for the first time and the end result was a very boozy cake. The Cointreau overpowered everything and the chocolate taste was lost. One of my friends and tastes testers said that it had a ‘warming effect’ as you ate it. Not quite the reaction I was after, but I agreed. The cake was far too alcoholic and was not pleasant to eat – although if you wanted to have some before a night out, perfect! I did warm up a slice in the microwave and had it with vanilla ice cream and thought it was quite nice – a very grown up desert.
After a conversation with a friend of mine, who is an ex-chef, he asked me if I had burnt any of the alcohol off because he could taste a raw alcoholic taste. I told him that I only warmed it through and perhaps not for as long as I did the for the gin or the Malibu cakes. He advised me to burn off the alcohol and have a re-think about the quantity of Cointreau that I put in it and remind me that Cointreau is a lot stronger than a lot of liquors.
One massive coo for me though was that he did say it was one of the nicest chocolate cakes that he had eaten, even though it was gluten free. He said that people really don’t know how to make good chocolate cake and I have made it into his top 5 for chocolate cakes. Happy Sam.
Cake 2 –
I reduced the amount of Cointreau and increased the amount of orange juice for the next cake and listened to my chef friend about burning off the alcohol in the syrup. I was worried that there would not be any orange flavour, but it turned out this was the right amount and this cake tasted more how I imagined it would taste.
This cake is chocoltly and has a great undertone and aftertaste of orange. The booziness has gone and this is moist and light cake. All of the tastes testers agreed that this was much better.
4 eggs, weighed in their shells
equal weight of:
Gluten free self-raising flour – you will need to minus 60g and replace this with coco powder
60g Coco powder
1 tsp instant coffee granuels dissolved with a tablespoon of water
1 tablespoon xantham gum
2 shot of orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
1.5 shots of Cointreau
Ingredients for the syrup and chocolate topping.
1.5 shots of Cointreau
2 shots of orange juice
100g granulated sugar
100g melted dark chocolate
1. Ensure that all your ingredients are at room temperature, and preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Weigh your eggs in their shells, and make a note of the exact weight. Weigh out this much butter and caster sugar, and cream together until light, fluffy and pale.
3. Crack in the eggs, and beat until combined. Sieve in the flour, desiccated coconut, and xanathan gum and mix. Be careful that you don’t over mix the flour into the batter as you will make the mix tough.
4. Add orange juice and 1.5 shots of Cointreau and mix.
5. Pour the batter into a lined 1kg loaf tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the cake passes the knife test.
6. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the drizzle. Combine the sugar, 1.5 shots of Cointreau and the orange juice in a saucepan. Heat on a low temperature until all of the sugar is dissolved. You might want to stir the mix continuously so that you know when all the sugar has dissolved.
7. Prick the surface of the cake with a fork or a skewer, then poor over all of the syrup onto the cake. Leave the cake to cool.
8. Once cooled, melt the chocolate. I prefer to do mine over a bain-marie, but you might prefer to do yours in the microwave. Once the chocolate has melted drizzle over the cake and leave to cool.
If you want an extra hit of chocolate, then why fill the middle of the cake with chocolate buttercream or a shop bought chocolate fudge buttercream. Cut the the cake in half length ways and then spread a generous amount of filling and then drizzle on the chocolate and leave to cool.
Enjoy the cake with a cup of tea, on it’s own, or warm the cake in the microwave for 20 seconds and serve with some vanilla ice cream for a dessert.
Happy gluten free baking 🙂