Read The Other Half of My Heart Online

Authors: Stephanie Butland

The Other Half of My Heart (35 page)

BOOK: The Other Half of My Heart
  10. Bake for 25–30 minutes. When the bread is done it will be browned on top and smell fantastic. Turn it over and knock on the bottom – it will sound hollow.
  11. Leave your loaf to cool on a cooling rack. This bread goes really well with cheese.
Rufus's Favourite Chocolate Orange Cake
3 x 21cm sandwich cake tins (if you don't have 3, you can bake in batches)
3 circles of 21cm baking parchment
A pan with a lid, big enough to hold two oranges with a little bit of space around them
A freestanding mixer with paddle attachment
a mixing bowl and wooden or silicone spoon
A food processor or stick blender (or if you don't have these, see the suggested alternative, below)
For the cake:
1 orange, of a thin-skinned variety, such as Valencia
25ml orange juice
250g butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
4 medium eggs, at room temperature
250g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder
For the frosting:
1 orange, of a thin-skinned variety, such as Valencia
25ml orange juice
100g 72% cocoa solids dark chocolate
100g butter, at room temperature
100g full-fat cream cheese, like Philadelphia, at room temperature
400g icing sugar, sifted
a tablespoon or two of milk
1.   First, prepare the oranges. Put them in the pan, whole, and cover with boiling water. Let them simmer for 20 minutes, then take the pan off the heat and leave them in the water for another half-hour. Take them out of the water and leave them until they are cold. (You could do this the day before you plan to make the cake.)
2.   Set the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Put the baking parchment in the bottom of the tins and grease the sides. (You could wipe round them with the wrapper from the butter.)
3.   Cut one of the cooled oranges into quarters. Take out any pips you can see. Put the quarters (rind on) into the food processor or bowl of the stick blender with the orange juice, and whizz to a pulp.
4.   Mix together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and pale.
5.   Add the eggs one by one, mixing between each addition and adding a tablespoon of flour each time you mix.
6.   Add the rest of the flour, the cocoa powder and the blended orange, and mix gently together.
7.   Divide the mixture between the three tins, or if you are baking in batches, put a third of the mixture into each tin and put the rest to one side. (You don't have to be completely accurate.)
8.   Put the cakes in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. The cakes are done when the mixture springs back when pressed.
9.   Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn them out on to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool completely before peeling off the baking parchment.
  10. Now for the frosting. Melt the chocolate, either in a bowl over a pan of hot water, or in very short bursts in a microwave. Leave it to cool while you do the next bit. Beat the butter until it is soft. Stir in the cream cheese and then gradually beat in the icing sugar.
  11. Add the cooled chocolate and milk. You should have a soft, spreadable mixture.
  12. Take the second orange and do exactly what you did with the first one: cut it into quarters, take out any pips you can see, put the quarters, rind on, into the food processor or bowl of the stick blender with the orange juice, and whizz to a pulp.
  13. Now assemble the cake. Put one of the three cake layers upside down on the serving plate and spread it with half of the orange pulp, then a third of the chocolate frosting. Put the next cake layer upside down on top of the frosting and spread it with the other half of the orange pulp and another third of the chocolate frosting. Put the third cake on top, right side up, and spread the last of the chocolate frosting on that. Turning the first two cakes upside down means that the orange pulp can sink into the sponge more easily.
  14. Serve on pretty plates, with cream on the side if you feel like it.
Alternative, if you don't have a blender:
Instead of using oranges, buy a jar of thin-cut good quality Seville orange marmalade (a standard jar is about 340g). Add half to the cake mixture in place of the orange. Spread a quarter on each of the cake pieces instead of the orange pulp.
Letters to My Husband
Stephanie Butland's heart-wrenching and powerful first novel

‘An immensely powerful, and ultimately uplifting, debut novel'

‘Gorgeous. I had to take a deep breath and let out a big sigh when I'd finished'

Dear Mike, I can't believe that it's true. You wouldn't do this to me. You promised.

Elizabeth knows that her husband is kind and good and that he loves her unconditionally. She knows she hasn't been herself lately but that, even so, they are happy.

But Elizabeth's world is turned upside down when Mike dies in a tragic drowning accident. Suddenly everything Elizabeth knows about her husband is thrown into doubt. Why would he sacrifice his own life, knowing he'd never see his wife again? And what exactly was he doing at the lake that night?

Elizabeth knows that writing to Mike won't bring him back, but she needs to talk to him now more than ever …

How much can you ever know about the people you love?

Originally published in hardback as
Surrounded by Water

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About the Author

Stephanie Butland
has written two books about her dance with cancer.
Letters to My Husband
was her first novel. She lives in Northumberland with her family.

Visit her website at

Also by Stephanie Butland

How I Said Bah! to cancer

Thrive: The Bah! Guide to Wellness After cancer

Letters to my Husband (
originally published as
Surrounded by Water)

61–63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA

Transworld is part of the Penguin Random House group of companies whose addresses can be found at

First published in Great Britain in 2015 by Black Swan
an imprint of Transworld Publishers
Copyright © Stephanie Butland 2015

Stephanie Butland has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Version 1.0 Epub ISBN 9781448154630
ISBN 9780552779166

This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

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