Last week on a bone chillingly cold day when mist hung low in the air, we made a little trip to the city of Ely.
A city because of its magnificent cathedral, the Ship Of The Fens, which can be seen for miles across the low lying land, but at heart a modest little market town.
We walked a while along the river Ouse before the cold had so numbed our feet and hands, that with a gasp of relief we darted into Ely antiques for a wander through three floors of curiosities.

By contrast, a few days later the sun made an appearance and since then we have been enjoying days of spring-like warmth. 
Such are the vagaries of the British weather! 

So to celebrate the imminent arrival of Spring, I made a cake.
 A reasonably healthy cake I like to think.

To be honest, this was a cake I had intended to make for Christmas, but with our girl being so poorly for the latter part of the year, festive preparations were much simplified.

However, the two packets of cooked chestnuts which I had bought to make the gluten free chestnut, chocolate and hazlenut cake  ( a recipe from the December issue of Waitrose Food) were still in the cupboard so I decided to give it a go.

I have to say that Chestnuts are not usually my thing. 
The fruit of the Sweet Chestnut tree (not to be confused with conkers, from the Horse Chestnut which are mildly poisonous) are very versatile and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes and even ground into a flour, useful for those on a gluten free diet.
In this recipe, however, they gave the cake a rich, moist texture.

What did surprise me was the amount of flavour provided by a relatively small amount of orange zest.
 If you like the famous Terry's Chocolate Orange - you know, the beautifully formed orange shaped confection that with one sharp tap separates into delectable chocolate segments (and I do) then you will love this!

Rich enough to feel like a 'celebration' cake yet not too cloying, this is a recipe I will definitely make again.

Hoping you have good plans for the weekend
 The rumour is that the mild weather is set to continue!



  1. The weather's been positively balmy here the last couple of days. Most odd. Have to admit, I much prefer my winters colder and whiter. The cake looks lovely. Chocolate and orange make such a perfect pairing (I made some little buns the other day using the same combo). As for those chestnuts, I can happily munch the whole bag!

  2. It has been wonderful, we have been out and about taking in the delights of all the local beaches. Fish and chips were also on the agenda. The cake looks amazing.

  3. What a delicious sounding cake. I love visiting Ely, such a pretty city.


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