Chocolate Orange Swirl Bundt

Chocolate and orange is just one of those things - in general, you either love it or hate it. I went from the latter to the former (and am now almost mildly obsessed!).
There's just something about the brightness of orange combined with the richness of chocolate that makes the combination, well, impeccable, really. Yeah, okay, this is my twenty-year-old self talking. Fifteen-year-old Tanvi would tell you otherwise. But trust me.

Let's just look at how pretty this cake is. Swirls just have a soft spot in my heart. And do you see how nicely swirled the swirl is? #swirlfreakhere. I'll teach you a tip (#1): the way to get the swirls all stripey and perfect is to use a technique used to make "zebra swirls". Here's the low down. Once you have the two different batters - chocolate and orange - use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to pour two spoonfuls of orange mixture into the bundt pan. Next alternate and pour one spoonful of chocolate mixture on top of the orange mixture. Continue to alternate between orange and chocolate layers until bundt pan is filled, pouring each next layer directly on top of the previous and letting the batter spread in the pan itself.

The cake is moist, soft and has the perfect amount of crumb. It looks gorgeous both because of the swirls and the bundt shape. Tip #2 of this post: bundt pans are your secret to making any cake dessert- and crowd-worthy. They don't require frosting, a streusel topping or anything fancy. A simple dusting of powdered sugar will do the trick.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
3/4 cup plain yogurt
5 tsp orange juice
4 tsp freshly grated orange zest
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk, divided

Lightly grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 175°C.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well after each addition.

Add the half the mixed dry ingredients and half the yogurt to the beaten butter mixture and use a large spoon to mix until just combined. Repeat again, using the remainder of the dry mixture and the yogurt. 

Divide the mixture into a 60:40 split.

Mix the cocoa powder into the milk and pour this mixture into the 40% split part. Gently mix until just combined.

Fold the orange rind and orange juice into the other split (60% one).

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt tin using the zebra swirl method described above. Alternatively, spoon the orange and chocolate batters alternately into the pan and use the normal swirling method of running the back of a spoon or knife to through the batter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes or until nicely risen and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then run a knife gently around the edges and tip the cake over into a plate.



Raw Chocolate Brownies

The weather is stunning today in London. Bright sunshine, clear blue skies and a vibrancy that this city has that's impossible to miss. It's 3 pm on Saturday afternoon and the weekend has definitely gotten off to a great start. It began with a quick 30 min walk in the park (was pretty exhausted after a long week of work to do a proper run), which was followed by breakfast at a nearby bakery - my picks for today were a dark chocolate muffin and fresh orange juice.
Yeah, the dark chocolate muffin was pretty much like eating full on cake for breakfast. It was super rich (but not in a heavy sense), uber chocolatey, filled to the brim with lots of chocolate chunk and had the perfect, and I mean perfect, crusty/chewy muffin top. I'm all about the eating well, but mostly because it makes me feel good. And, sometimes, cake for breakfast does just the trick. Long story short: had a bomb.com chocolate muffin (more like cake) for breakfast and no regrets.

Right, let's get back to happenings of the day. The sweet morning was followed by a few hours out with one of my best gal pals. We made the most of the gorgeous weather and walked along the Thames River from London Bridge to Big Ben. We talked, took some pics and had a great time.

I made it home just in time for a much-needed wholesome meal (after lots of eating out during the week because I barely make it home in time for dinner!). A long-overdue Skype call with one of my childhood friends followed. Which brings me to now - I'm currently snacking on some blueberries, a sliced banana and some peanut butter (i.e. my happy place!). I'm soon heading off to BBQ and then going for dinner with the sis to a place that specializes in 20 inch pizzas - yup, 20 inches, you read right. PS. That's massive if you haven't already got the point. In essence, it's turning out to be a pretty splendid Saturday. And I can only hope that Sunday is just as good!
These raw brownies are some of the densest, fudgiest, bestest (see they're even throwing my language skills off whack!) things that have ever entered my mouth. No, they're not a direct substitute for warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven chewy brownies that you can top with a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge. But YES, oh yes, they are a wonderful dessert that you can eat anytime to curb your sugar cravings and chocolate cravings. And... well... I have been eating them anytime (and everytime).

They're good. Trust me.

For the brownie:
1 1/2 cups mixed nuts (I used walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios)
20 medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
pinch of salt

For the frosting:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Line a 8x8 brownie pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse the mixed nuts together until crumbly. You don't want them to turn into a powder and definitely not nut butter, so don't over-pulse!

In the same food processor or blender (no cleaning required!), blend the dates until they form a sticky paste. Pour back in the pulsed nuts, add the cacao powder and salt and mix until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press down evenly.

Whisk together the coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup for frosting. Pour and spread on top of date nut brownie layer.

Place in the freezer to set for a couple of hours and slice into squares.

These can be stored in the fridge or freezer (I prefer the latter!).