Chocolate, Orange, and Pecan Loaves

Revision season has crept up on us again; unlike Christmas and Easter it’s not something any of us look forward to. There’s no promise of overindulging in chocolate and there’s not a gift to be seen (unless finding a prime seat in the library counts).

To maintain sanity throughout exam period sweet treats are necessary. Instead of popping to the library canteen and stocking up on KitKat Chunkies and Double Deckers, how about giving yourself a revision break and bake some mini chocolate, orange and pecan loaves. Satisfaction for your sweet tooth and a well-deserved break from Chaucer or chemistry.

Making mini-loaves means if you’re feeling generous you can share them around easily, or you can treat yourself to them all. I’ve used orange and pecan nuts for a zesty flavour and crunchy texture but you can mix and match with whatever flavours you’d like – hazelnut and raspberry, pear and almond, or a the basic chocolate sponge oozing with melting chocolate chunks. The sponge itself is light making these cakes a perfect pick-me-up.

If you happen not to have eaten them all within a few days then you can pop them in the microwave and eat them warm with a spoonful of ice cream.

 The Recipe – Makes 10


225g soft butter
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 large orange, zest and 1 tbsp juice
50g pecan nuts
Half Terry’s chocolate orange


– Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

– Place the individual loaf cases on a baking tray.

– Beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and flour until light and smooth.

– Add the milk and cocoa powder.

– Zest the orange and squeeze it to get the juice. Beat in the juice and zest and mix well.

– Break the pecans into small pieces and add to the mixture.

– Spoon the mixture into the cases.

– Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the point at which you can insert a skewer into the loaves and it comes out clean, without any mixture sticking to it. If you insert the skewer and there is loaf mixture stuck to it then they need to be left in the oven for a little longer.

– Leave to cool then remove from the cases.

– Melt the chocolate in a microwave, and drizzle over the cakes.

– Finish off the cakes with some zest of the orange and a few pecan pieces.



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