I arrived back in Hong Kong on Friday after two wonderful weeks back home in England. I’m full of all sorts of mixed emotions about being back here. I’m not sure what I want to say about it, so lets not talk about that. Lets talk about cake.
Chocolate Orange Cake to be precise.
This cake is a ridiculously moist, gooey, rich beauty of a cake. Its balanced perfectly with the zing of the orange, to stop things getting overpoweringly chocolately.
The two layers of intense chocolate cake are adapted from this recipe, possibly one of my favourite recipe finds ever. The resulting sponge is wonderfully decadent, verging on fudgey, yet its still light.
Orange zest is cooked into the sponge, and the orangeiness (defiantly a word) is intensified with an orange syrup, poured over the cake while its still warm. The syrup not only adds to the flavour, but gives a beautiful stickiness to the cake.
The layers are sandwiched together with an orange butter cream.
The whole thing is wrapped up in an extra thick layer of chocolate ganache. I’m a firm believe that more is most defiantly more when it comes to ganache.
This is the perfect cake for those ‘i don’t know what i should do with my life’ days.
Equally wonderful for birthdays, celebrations and Wednesdays.
Chocolate Orange Cake
for the cakes
120g plain flour
260g caster sugar
65g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of 1 orange
2 medium eggs
90ml oil (I used corn oil, but any other light, flavourless oil will be fine – not olive oil)
190ml boiling water
Juice of 1 large orange (mine produced 50 ml orange juice)
for the syrup
Juice of 1 orange
40g caster sugar
for the orange buttercream
100g unsalted butter
zest of 1 orange
75g icing sugar
for the ganache
270g dark chocolate
270g double cream
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Grease and line two 7inch loose bottom cake tins.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and orange zest.
In a separate jug of bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the milk and oil, and combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.
Slowly pour in the boiling water, mixing as you go, then finally the orange juice. Expect the mixture to be very runny.
Divide between your two prepared tins.
Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, until the cakes feel firm to the touch, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
As the cakes are in their last few minutes of baking, make up the orange syrup. In a small pan, mix together the sugar, 100ml of water and juice of one orange. Boil it together until all the sugar is dissolved, let it simmer for about 2 minutes. Drizzle across the top of the cakes. You may not need all the syrup, you don’t want your cakes to become soggy.
Cool completely. Be careful as you move and handle the cakes, their damp texture means they are fragile.
Next, make up your orange buttercream. Beat the butter and orange zest until soft. Sift in the icing sugar and mix until you have a thick, creamy buttercream.
Now make your ganache.Finely chop the chocolate and put into a large bowl.Heat the cream over a low heat until just below boiling point.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until combined. Leave to cool until you have a thick, spreadable constancy. You may need to pop it in the fridge if you find its not setting properly.
To put your cake together. Place one layer of the cake onto the plate you plan to serve it on. Top with the buttercream. Add the next layer of cake. Cover in a thin layer of the ganache, this if your crumb layer to make sure the finished cake doesn’t show any crumbs. Put the cake into the fridge for a few minutes. Cover with the rest of the ganache.