Celebratory cakes

In my recent post about making chocolate decorations, I mentioned that I used them to decorate my celebratory cake. Well here is the adventurous cake I made for an important 30th Birthday of a special someone. Although he had to light most of his candles, he seemed to like the cake! I have always thought that chocolate and orange go really well together and so this was the basis of my creativity. I designed it myself, building up ideas in my head and although it took quite a while to make, it was worth it. I think the light orange sponge really works well against the rich and dreamy chocolate. There are even a few popping candy additions to make the cake even more exciting!

Top down silver

Why not try having a go at the cake if you have something special coming up? Or try making one of the layers as they are enjoyable on their own too. I would definitely make this again! A successful invention.

Recipe

Equipment

  • 2 x 16cm cake tins

Chocolate cake (from Great British Bake Off: How to turn bakes into showstoppers)

  • 85g dark chocolate (50% – 70% cocoa solids depending on how rich you want it)
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g self raising flour

Orange cake (based on Nigella’s)

  • 175g self raising flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g butter
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Rind of 1 orange
  • Sugar syrup: 75g caster sugar, juice of ½ orange

Chocolate ganache

  • 135g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids is best but you can do half 50% and half 70% if you like)
  • 190ml double cream (elmlea has a really long expiry date)
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar

Toppings/decorations/ fillings

  • 2 tbsp orange marmalade
  • 50g melted dark chocolate (50% cocoa solid will do)
  • Generous sprinkle of chocolate popping candy (try Heston’s)
  • Chocolate caraque to decorate (see my previous blog)
  • Edible gold spray (you can find this in the baking section of supermarkets – try Waitrose)

Method

  • Measure out all your ingredients and separate them into baking items so you don’t get confused but are all organised and ready to begin. So much easier than measuring as you go!
  • Grease two 16cm cake tins. Cut out a circle of baking paper to place in the bottom of each tin. Grease over the top of these once in each tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 180oC
  • For the chocolate cake, melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave on 30 second blasts.
  • While the chocolate is cooling slightly, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until light and frothy.
  • Stir in the melted chocolate mix into the egg mix until well combined.
  • Fold in the flour and spoon evenly in one of the tins.
  • For the orange cake, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (you might want to pop the butter in the microwave for 15 seconds just to help you out a little before mixing).
  • Beat in one egg at a time into the mix. Then add the milk.
  • Stir in the orange rind and fold in the flour until combined. The mixture should feel light and delicate because of the milk. Spoon into the other cake tin.
  • Bake both cakes together for 25-30 minutes. You really need to keep and eye on them and watch they don’t over or under bake. But don’t open the oven in the first 15 minutes as this causes the cakes to sink.
  • When cooked the cakes should be light and springy to touch and also a cocktail stick should come out clean when inserted into the cake. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for about 20 minutes and then carefully turn out onto wired cooling racks.
  • Make the sugar syrup for the orange cake by heating the orange juice and sugar in the microwave until well combined. Prick the cake with a fork all over and then pour over the sugar syrup. Leave the cool.

Chocolate whole side

Assembling and decorating

  • When the cakes are cool, it is time to assemble! Before you do, make sure each cake has a flat base and top by using a knife to level it off a bit.
  • Place the chocolate cake on a tray or serving plate. I put the chocolate cake on the bottom because the orange cake is lighter. Cover the top with the orange marmalade. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the top.
  • Sandwich the orange cake on top.
  • Make the ganache by heating the cream and sugar to boiling point in the microwave. Then stir the chocolate into this and it will melt.
  • Pour the ganache over the cake and smother the mixture down the sides so that the cake has an even covering.
  • Spray the sides with gold shimmer spray – I really enjoyed this bit!!
    Cake from side
  • Sprinkle chocolate caraque and chocolate popping candy on top.
  • You have finished your masterpiece! It is time to light the candles!

cake open

This may seem like an epic cake and that is because it is. It is called a celebratory cake for a reason and so I wouldn’t make it every day. It is however a very tasty cake and one to be proud of. I love the marmalade hit in the centre and the variety in colour and taste you get as you cut though the cake is really exiting! Its also so much more fun than buying a shop bought version. I hope you enjoy!

slice

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