I absolutely adore oranges in baking as it’s a versatile piece of fruit that can be used all year round in any baked dish. In the summer it can be used to make lovely refreshing cakes and desserts and towards the later part of the year it can be mixed with beautiful pungent spices to bring out the warm juicy flavours. The citrus flavour of orange , bitterness of chocolate and warm pungent flavour of cardamom blend together so well that with every bite, you savour a well balanced flavour of each ingredient. I made this cake for after dinner tea and dessert for family friends who were visiting and it went down a treat with a lovely cup of masala chai.
Bakes one 8 inch Cake.
Serving Size approx 8-10 slices.
5 Large Eggs
285g Caster Sugar
240g Self Raising Flour
45g Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
Zest of 1 orange
1.5 tsp Valencia Orange Extract ( from Sainsburys)
Chocolate Orange Ganache Icing:
300ml Double Cream
200g Dark Chocolate
100g Milk Chocolate
3 Cardamom pods
1tsp Valencia Orange Oil Extract
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 for Fan Assisted). Prepare cake tin with cake release spray of grease proof paper.
2. Sift flour and cocoa powder into a bowl to remove any lumps and add cardamom powder to this dry mix.
3. In a mixer or using a hand mixer cream the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated and mixture is smooth.
4. Add the orange extract and fold in the flour, cocoa powder and cardamom mix.
5. Finally add the orange Zest and gently mix in.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the middle shelf for about 50-60 minutes dependent on your oven. To check the cake is done, an inserted a skewer should come out clean.
7. For the ganache break up chocolate pieces into equal size in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan add the double cream and cardamom pods and bring to boil stirring continuously to prevent fat sticking to the pan. Once it comes to a boil pour it over the chocolate pieces through a sieve and using a whisk start mixing the cream and chocolate together.
8. Initially the mixture will look like chocolate and cream has separated, continue mixing until you get a gloss finished icing. Once you get that finish add the orange extract, mix and place the bowl in the fridge for the icing to set a bit so that you get a spreadable consistency. Please keep checking to ensure the mixture doesn’t get too thick or else you wont be able to spread it onto the cake.
9. Once the cake has cooled down slice it horizontally in half, using a palette knife ( if you don’t have one you can use back of spoon) spread some icing on one half of the cake and place the other half of the cake on top of the iced one.
10. With a palette knife spread the ganache over the cake to cover it, to get the swirly effect on top of the cake I used the back of a spoon.
11. To finish off decorate with orange thins and zest of half an orange.