Sunday, 26 February 2012

Chocolate orange cake

With the arrival of T’s birthday last week came a new cake request – this year, the boy wanted it to be all about chocolate and orange. However, it was a surprising struggle to think of what to do with that. Chocolate cake with orange flavouring, or orange cake with chocolate? Layered? Traybake? All of the above? Plonk a Terry's Chocolate Orange down in front of him?

My staple ‘need to bring a dessert that looks nice but won’t take long to make’ recipe is a chocolate cake with lemon curd in the middle, so I eventually decided to do a fancier take on that with orange curd and chocolate ganache. It tasted great, but took most of the day to do because I also got it into my head to make the orange curd. This is a whole other post’s worth of fun to share, however…

Chocolate cake ingredients:
¾ cup (170g) butter
1 cup (270g) sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1¾ cups (325g) flour
1 cup (125g) baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups (355ml) light (single) cream
½ cup (75g) dark chocolate chips (optional)

Chocolate ganache ingredients:
3.5oz (100g) dark chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa powder
cup (75ml) heavy (double) cream

Other ingredients:
Orange curd
Mandarin orange slices

1. Start by making the cake. Heat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease two 9in (23cm) round cake pans.

2. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla.

3. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and blend into the batter in portions along with the cream.

4.  When all ingredients have been mixed in and batter is smooth, pour into prepared cake pans and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top of each.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

5. Let the cakes sit for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and place them on wire racks to cool.

6. When completely cool, start to put the cake together. Spread orange curd on top of one cake layer, then carefully place the second layer on top. Fill in any ‘holes’ with remainig curd to get an even finish.

7. Next, make the ganache. Melt the chocolate over very low heat, mixing in the cocoa powder thoroughly when melted. Stir in the double cream.

8. Spread evenly on the cake immediately. If desired, add mandarin orange slices on top (from a can or similar, but patted dry to remove any excess juice). Let the ganache set.

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