Thursday, 1 September 2011

Chocolate Orange and Almond Cake

This one is based on a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe I found online somewhere. Drizzling the syrup over the sponge prior to icing gives the cake a lovely heady flavour as well as a rich moistness. I think it has a real wow factor and is great for a party.

Prep Time: 30 Mins
Baking Time: 60 Mins
200g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
300g Caster Sugar
Zest of 2 Large Oranges
5 Medium Eggs (Beaten)
200g Ground Almonds
80g Cocoa Powder
100g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt

For Orange Syrup
Juice of 2 Large Oranges
50g Caster Sugar

For Chocolate Icing
90g Unsalted Butter
150g Dark Chocolate
1/2Tbsp Golden Syrup
1/2 Tbsp Grand Marnier

Right, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 then grease/line base of a 23cm springform tin. Beat together the butter and the sugar, then mix in the eggs a little at a time. Add the zest, followed by the almonds, then sift in the flour cocoa and salt (All together). Mix it all up then pour into the tin. Whack it in the oven for about an hour, until a skewer comes out a little moist. Leave in the tin for about 15 minutes then get started on the syrup.

Put the juice and sugar into a pan on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn the heat off and stir gently to ensure the sugar is properly dissolved. Remove the cake from tin (I do this at this stage otherwise it could stick to the tin once the syrup has dried) and place of a wire rack. Brush the syrup liberally over the cake (You may not use all of it, but be generous!) then leave to cool completely.

Once the cake is cool, you can make the icing. Over a bain-marie melt the butter and chocolate. Once melted remove from the heat, then add the syrup followed by the Grand Marnier. Stir it all together until smooth and glossy. Pour the icing over the cake slowly then work towards the edges lightly with a palette knife or the back of a large metal spoon. You'll find it will dribble over the edges of the cake, which I think gives the cake real character. If you're feeling poncey garnish with a little orange zest, although it's not essential!

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