Chocolate orange cake

Today is my Dad’s birthday!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

We were supposed to be going out for a family meal at the weekend (until we were all struck down with the lurgy…) so, he needed a cake.

My Dad is a fan of Chocolate Oranges. Or maybe actually he isn’t. It may be one of those things where he made some innocent off the cuff remark about 30 years ago about liking them, so now every year, he gets a chocolate orange at Christmas and on his birthday…

Anyway, like ’em or not, I decided to make him a Chocolate Orange Cake.

Now, this cake was not my finest hour. In my defence, I was suffering with the aforementioned lurgy, and was not feeling the best when I made it. BUT, I managed to burn sligthly singe the sponge, then the orange curd scrambled, and the ganache was a little sloppy. I am really not selling this to you am I?

Just in case anyone is still reading, and anyone wants to try and replicate it (in a much much more skilled way..) this is what I did…

This is what you need for the sponge:

  • 200g soft butter
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 50g cocoa
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 50 melted dark chocolate
  • grated zest of 1 large orange

This is what you do:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C (this was my downfall-I somehow managed to set the oven too high, and didn’t notice until a slightly charred smell came floating across the kitchen…)
  • Grease and base line 2x20cm round sandwich tins
  • Put the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa and eggs in a Magimix type mixer and whiz (this is the lazy quick way. You could do the whole creaming together the butter and sugar thing etc if you wanted to)
  • Add the grated orange zest and the melted chocolate, and whiz again
  • Divide the mix between the 2 cases, and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25mins
  • Remove and leave to cool for 5 minutes in the tins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely

This is what my “Leiths’s Cookery Bible”, says you need to make the orange curd:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 85g butter
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

And this is what it says to do:

  • Put all the ingredients except the zest (I must have missed this bit…) into a heavy saucepan or double boiler and heat gently (and they mean gently. I must have had my heat up too high and my eggs started to scramble a bit-oops!)
  • Stir ALL THE TIME!!
  • Sieve into a bowl, stir in the zest and allow to cool
  • Spoon in to warmed jam jars and cover. I sterilised a jar by whacking it in the oven when I took the cake out. I think it will keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks

Choc orange cake31

This is what you need for the ganache:

  • 250ml single cream
  • 250g dark chocolate

I used milk chocolate, and the ganache was a bit runny. I’m sure when I’ve done ganache beofre it has been with double cream, and if I did it again, I would use double-maybe this would thicken it up a bit.

This is what you do:

  • Break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl
  • Bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan
  • Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate, whisking all the time
  • Allow to cool slightly and ‘harden’ before using

Choc orange cake41

Like I say, mine didn’t really harden. I put the cake in the fridge for a bit after I had assembled it to try and get it to set a bit.

To assemble:

  • Spread some orange curd over both of the nice flat surfaces of your sponge bits
  • Sandwich together with ‘curdy buts’ facing
  • With the sponge still on the cooling rack pour over the ganache, and then use a spoon/knife to try and smee some around the edges too
  • Decorate with chocolate orange segments

Choc orange cake21

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