Orange Chocolate Cake

One word. Chocolate. One of the five main food groups that also include Bacon, Vegemite, Coffee and Curry.

This is an absolute winner. I love it. Nice and moist with the orange syrup poured over the cake before the ganache is smoothed onto it. I tend to use every utensil in the kitchen when I make it. Don’t know why but it does take me at least half an hour to clean up. But so worth the effort and mess.

One important thing though is to make sure the cake is cooked properly before you take it from the oven. Actually it’s absolutely essential. poke through the centre of the cake with a dry bamboo skewer. It should come out clean. If there’s any stickiness or raw dough on the skewer, leave it in for another 5 minutes or so or until it is cooked. If not, it will sink, and the middle will be gooey. Not a pretty sight.

For the cake:

175g Dark Cooking Chocolate
Grated zest of 3 oranges
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
175g Softened Butter
1 cup Castor Sugar
6 eggs, separated
pinch of salt

For the ganache:

1/2cup Cream
Grated zest of one orange
225g Dark Cooking Chocolate
2 Tablespoons orange syrup (see below)

For the orange syrup:

Juice of 4 oranges
2 Tablespoons sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170C

Grease a 9 inch round springform cake tin. Put a round of baking Paper in the bottom and grease that.

Make the syrup first. Pour the orange juice into a small pan and add the sugar. Put on a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Now for the cake. Break the chocolate into smallish chunks and put it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Be sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. When it has melted, give it a stir, remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Mix the flour with the grated orange zest. Use your fingers to scrumble it together so that the clumps of zest are broken up into small bits and coated with flour. Add the cocoa to the flour/zest mixture.

In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar till its very light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the egg yolks. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Fold in the flour mixture.

Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Take a couple of tablespoons of the egg whites and mix into the batter, mixing well. This is to lighten the batter a little bit. Then fold the rest of the egg whites carefully into the batter, being careful not to over mix. Fold just until you don’t see streaks of white any more.

Put the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool.

For the ganache, put the cream into a small pan and add the orange zest. Heat gently till just below the simmering point and then leave to cool. When the cream is cool, strain it into a clean pan and heat again, to just below the boiling point.

Chop or break the chocolate into pieces about the size of the end of your little finger (or smaller). Put the chocolate and the cream in a bowl over simmering water, being careful that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. When the chocolate has melted, give it a stir and add 2 Tablespoons of the orange syrup.

When the cake is cool, spoon the syrup over the top, and spread it gently with the back of the spoon. Give it a minute or two to soak in. You don’t have to let it run down the sides, because it will only run off. Leave for 10 minutes.

Move the cake to the serving plate, pour the ganache over the top of the cake and smooth it down the sides. Leave it for 4-5 hours until the ganache has a chance to set.

Garnish the top by placing 3 very thin slices of orange in the centre of the cake.

If you cut the cake into 12 equal slices, this is the nutritional information for one slice (Ha! one slice, like THAT’s gonna happen)

cake nutr

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