Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cake

Many of you are probably facing big birthday milestones of friends or families soon, maybe your best friend is about to turn 21 or your dad is 50 in only a week’s time. This chocolate orange cake is the perfect birthday or celebration alternative to the Victoria Sandwich. My recipe is adapted from Mary Berry’s wonderful chocolate orange cake but I have made a few alterations for Razz’s version. I found that the Cocoa Powder did not completely mix in with the boiling water, leaving a slightly lumpy texture. Instead, I mixed together the butter and sugar and then alternate dry ingredients such as sieved flour and cocoa powder with eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice. I also followed another recipe for candied orange slices which I used to decorate the cake alongside some leftover orange zest and segments from a chocolate orange. If you want to make this recipe in a hurry you can buy candied orange slices or decorate the cake with Mary Berry’s suggested chocolate curls. This recipe is perfect for chocolate orange addicts; the cake tastes like an explosion of fluffy cake alongside rich chocolate icing and zesty orange undertones.

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List of Ingredients for cake batter:
100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
300g caster sugar
50g good quality cocoa powder
3 large free-range eggs
3 tsp freshly squeezed and strained juice from orange
175g self-raising flour, sifted
1 rounded tsp baking powder, sifted into the flour
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

List of Ingredients for Candied orange slices (optional):
113g granulated sugar
338ml water
1 orange sliced crosswise (horizontally) in thin slices

List of Ingredients for filling and icing:
150g Bournville chocolate, broken into small pieces
150ml double cream

Instructions:

1)      Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan160°C/gas 4.

2)      Grease 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.

3)      To make the sponges cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. In separate bowls weigh out the dry ingredients and crack and mix the eggs in another bowl so that the yolk and white are inseparable. Alternate mixing in dry ingredients with the egg and orange juice until the mixture slowly falls off the spoon. Add more flour if the mixture is too runny. Finish by mixing in the zest evenly. Hold a little back for decoration.

4)      Divide the sponge mixture evenly between the prepared tins. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until the sponges are well risen and a knife or skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cake. Remove the sponges from the oven

5)      In about 15 minutes turn out of their tins onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

6)      Once the cake is completely cool you can start to make the decoration and toppings.

7)      In a medium skillet, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a thin syrup and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to a rack to cool.

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8)      Whilst the orange slices are cooling start to make the chocolate icing. Break up the chocolate into squares in a glass bowl and add the cream. Pour some boiling water into a pan and place the bowl on the pan so that the steam melts the mixture slowly without burning. Stir until all the chocolate has melted and combined with the cream. Set aside to cool until it thickens to a spreadable consistency.

9)      Use about 1/3 of the chocolate icing to create the filling for the cake, spreading it evenly around the top of one of the sponges. Place the other sponge on top of this and spread the remainder of the icing on the top.

10)   Decorate your cake with the candied orange slices, chocolate orange slices, zest or whatever other decorations you like.

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Tip: If you want a thicker filling for your cake you could make a chocolate butter cream for the filling instead or put the icing in the fridge for a few hours. I prefer a thicker solution for holding the cake together and a runny shiny icing which flows over the side of the cake. To do this I normally refrigerate it, fill the centre, and then place the bowl of icing over the heat again to melt it slightly before pouring over the cake.

These are the adapted sources for my recipe:
http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/mary-berrys-very-best-chocolate-and-orange-cake/
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/candied-orange-slices (measurements have been converted to UK measurements for this recipe)

Please send us your photos, comments or suggestions if you do decide to try this recipe. We would love to hear from you!

Razz  Editorial Team- Lucy

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