I promised I’d share this recipe a little while ago on my Orange and lemon curd blog but hadn’t gotten around it until today. I’ve been hanging onto this little bit of paper onto which I scribbled the ingredients for the cake and was overjoyed when I found it today on one of my cleaning missions. I thought I’d better write it up before I lose the bit of paper again.
My partner loves Chocolate-orange together in any form of dessert. So for his birthday, I decided I’d make a chocolate orange cake. Since I didn’t want to mess up on the day, I thought I’d give it a trial run first. The trial run was extremely successful both at home and in the office (yes, I am on a secret mission to fatten my colleagues – shhh….). I didn’t however make it for his birthday as he decided he wanted something different. I will write about the actual birthday cake at a later date.
With most recipes, my first port of call is the interwebs. There are hundreds of recipes for chocolate orange cakes and hundreds more for marbled cake. I looked up so many of them but nothing seemed to match the image I had in my head. Nothing, until this Pumpkin Marbled cake by Sabine from Berry Lovely.
I am not keen on food colouring so I really liked Sabine’s use of pumpkin in this recipe. Unfortunately, the only pumpkins I could buy here were really huge and it isn’t a popular vegetable in the house. So, I decided to use carrots to impart the orange colour to my marbled cake. Here is my take on Sabine’s take on a recipe from Sunset Magazine.
Ingredients (makes a 9″ round cake):
For the cake:
170 gms unsalted butter
200 gms sugar
280 gms flour
1 teaspoons of baking powder
25 gms of cocoa powder (I used Cadbury Bournville cocoa)
1/2 a cup of natural yoghurt
Juice and rind of one large orange (Picture 2)
2 medium carrots
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
For the chocolate topping
200 gms of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
100 mls of double cream
20 gms of butter
2 cups of orange and lemon curd – follow this recipe
1. Peel and chop the carrots into 5 cm chunks. Boil them until soft and blend into a smooth paste (Pictures 1 & 3).
2. In a deep mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until soft and creamy (Pictures 4 & 5).
3. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition (Picture 6).
4. You might notice that the mixture looks curdled but don’t fear as the next step is to add the flour and flour will fix the problem right away. One tip to prevent this curdling is to keep the eggs, butter and sugar at room temperature for a few hours before making the cake. Then, there is no temperature contrast between the butter-sugar mixture and the eggs and hopefully, you won’t see a curdling effect (Picture 7).
5. Sift the flour into the eggy-sugary-buttery mixture and mix well to form a smooth and shiny batter (Pictures 8&9).
6. Split the batter into two equal halves into two separate bowls (Picture 10).
7. To one half, add the orange juice, orange rind except for 1 teaspoon and puréed carrots. Mix well until all the ingredients are uniformly combined (Pictures 11 & 12).
8. Into the other half of the batter, sift the cocoa powder and salt. Add the remaining teaspoon of orange rind and yoghurt and mix well until a smooth and dark mixture results (Pictures 13, 14 & 15).
9. Line a 9″ round cake tin with greaseproof baking paper, grease it and dust it with a little flour to make sure the cake doesn’t stick to it. Alternatively, you can use non-stick baking paper (Picture 16).
10. Add alternating tablespoons of chocolate cake mixture and orange cake mixture into the baking tray as shown in Picture 17. It doesn’t look very attractive – YET!
11. Drag a wooden skewer or the sharp end of the knife, through the batter in random patterns. The aim is to make the chocolate meet the orange but in a way that the whole thing doesn’t turn dark brown. Try and drag the skewer through the depth of the cake rather than just on the surface (Picture 18). Isn’t it pretty now ?
12. Bake at 180° C for an hour or until a skewer, when inserted into the cake, comes out clean (Picture 19).
13. Allow the cake to cool and turn it over for decoration purposes. The bottom being perfectly flat is more suited for icing (Picture 20).
14. Place broken bits of chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl (Picture 21). Heat the double cream in the microwave and pour into the chocolate bits. Mix quickly to make a smooth, chocolate-y paste. Unfortunately, this step ended in a disaster for me. I think the cream was too hot and this burnt the chocolate so rather than a smooth paste, I had chocolate blobs floating in a sea of melted butter. How embarrassing ! Anyway, I pressed on. My recommendation would be to double-boil the chocolate as I describe in the Cherry Ripe Truffle recipe.
15. Pour the refrigerated orange-lemon curd over the cake. Being just thick enough, it will naturally flow over the sides of the cake (Picture 22 and 23).
16. Place a piece of skinned orange in the centre and dribble concentric circles of chocolate around the orange. Then, using a skewer or a knife-edge, draw a line from the centre out to edge. Do so every 2-3 cms until you’ve covered the diameter of the cake (Picture 24). If your chocolate is as it should be, your cake will look a lot better than mine.
17. Slice and serve to all those who seek it (Picture 25).
18. While I botched up the melting of the chocolate, the cake itself was delicious and the orange-lemon curd was a winning combination with the cake.