It can’t just be me who instantly associates chocolate
orange with the festive season – sales at Terry’s must go up a thousandfold as
soon as November the first hits. So I thought it was time for a fabulously
festive cake that celebrated the gorgeous union of chocolate and orange all in
one. The basis of this cake is my mum’s failsafe sponge recipe, which always
deserves another outing – it’s my absolute go-to, any time I want to make a
quick cake that’s guaranteed to turn out perfectly. I’ve added a little sparkle
with candied oranges for decoration – they’re really simple to make and as a
bonus, they make the house smell incredible,
so if you’ve got guests coming over it’s a win-win.
For the buttercream I’ve used a product from one of my
blogging clients – Sugar & Crumbs’ Chocolate Orange Cocoa Powder. I want to
tell you right now that she didn’t ask me to write this and it isn’t part of
the service I provide – I just love this product so much I reckon it deserves
to be shouted about. The flavours used are all natural and you can really tell,
because the taste is absolutely fresh, delicious and not at all artificial. I
would definitely recommend you try it out for yourself.
Sugar & Crumbs Chocolate Orange Cocoa Powder
For the candied
Terry’s Chocolate Orange Minis
Start by preheating the oven to 170°C (180°C fan). The
secret of this sponge cake is achieving a perfect balance between the ingredients,
so weigh the eggs, in their shells, and make a note of the amount. You’ll use
this to show you how much of the other ingredients to use (the amounts above
are just a guide).
Break the eggs into a bowl and add the same weight of
margarine (you can use butter if you like, by the way, I just feel that
margarine gives you a lighter cake). Beat well, then add the same weight of
sugar and beat again. Finally, add the same weight of flour minus 30g, the 30g
of cocoa powder, and the tsp of baking powder, and beat again.
Grease two sandwich tins and line with baking parchment.
Divide the mixture between the two tins, spread out roughly, and place in the
oven for 22 minutes, until the cakes have risen well and a fork inserted into
the middle comes out clean. Allow them to cool for a couple of minutes, and
then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the candied oranges.
Put the sugar and water into a frying pan and bring to the boil, stirring well
until all the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Cut a couple
of slices of orange, as thinly as you can, and lay in the sugar water. Keeping
the heat low, let the oranges sit for about 40 minutes, turning every now and
then. When the time’s up, remove the pan from the heat and let the orange
slices cool for a moment before transferring to a clean plate, leaving the
syrup behind (you don’t need it for this recipe, but try drizzling it over ice
Making the buttercream is a bit of an inexact science –
it all depends on how sweet you like it. Start by popping a couple of spoonfuls
of margarine into a bowl and adding about the same amount of margarine. Mix
really well and then add a little cocoa powder. Taste and keep adding sugar or
cocoa powder as required until it’s perfect for you.
To finish off the cake, spread one of the layers with
half the buttercream and lay the second layer on top. Top off with the rest of
the buttercream, the chocolates and the candied orange slices (you may find it
easiest to cut them in half with scissors), and a sprinkling of orange zest.