Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Orange & White Chocolate Cake

My Granny is one of the most lovely ladies I know. She has a heart of gold and I think each of my four sisters would agree with me when I say she's the best Granny we could ask for; she never forgets a birthday, sends me the loveliest cards before every single one of my collections at university, and I frequently open my inbox to find a chatty email from her. (Yeah, she's completely down with the text and internet thing too - 21st century Granny!)

I also know that she is one of my most dedicated followers (Hi Granny!), and for that if nothing else she deserves a marvelous birthday cake! I fancied baking a cake a little lighter than my previous two monsters (Lime & Pistachio and Chocolate Honeycomb). This cake seemed perfect: light and refreshing, just what we needed after a delicious lunch at a local French-style cafe.

This recipe, with some minor alterations, is from The Clandestine Cake Club Book. I used my neighbour's chickens freshly laid eggs for extra freshness. There's nothing like baking with eggs quite that local!

225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
225g self raising flour
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
icing sugar, to dust
orange slice, to decorate
(I also added a teeny weeny bit of orange juice, and a drip-drop of vanilla essence)
For the orange syrup:
grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 tsp orange blossom water or 2 tsp Cointreau
1 tsp caster sugar
For the white chocolate icing:
150g white chocolate
grated zest of 2 large oranges, plus 4 tbsp juice
200g butter, softened
75g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (fan 170). Grease and line two 20cm round sandwich tins.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition, and adding a tablespoon of flour with the final addition to help prevent curdling. Mix in the orange zest, then fold in the remaining flour and the baking powder until thoroughly combined. If the mixture looks a little stiff then add a little milk.  (I didn't need to as I added some orange juice.)

Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 25 mins but it completely depends on your oven.) Leave in the tins to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the orange zest, juice, orange blossom water, and sugar into a pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. Turn the cakes out of the tins onto a wire rack, then spoon the syrup over the two sponges. Do not over soak them - you may not need all the syrup. Leave the cakes to cool completely.

To make the chocolate filling, place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Put the orange zest and juice in a small saucepan and bring to the simmer. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then pour over the chocolate. Stir until thoroughly combined and the chocolate has completely melted. If it does not fully melt, set the bowl of chocolate mix over a pan of simmering water and stir gently. Set aside to cool COMPLETELY. 

In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the COLD chocolate, beating all the time, until thoroughly combined. (BE WARNED: IF THE CHOCOLATE MIXTURE IS STILL WARM IT WILL MELT THE BUTTER AND THE MIXTURE WILL SPLIT!!)

Sandwich together the cooled cakes with the filling, then dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with a slice of orange.

Here's a picture of Granny herself cutting a slice of cake. The sponge was beautifully soft and fluffy, a darn good bake even if I do say so myself! It was just the right way to end a very happy day.

If you like the look of this but fancy something a little more exotic, then try this Passionfruit Cake for an equally refreshing summer treat. 


  1. What a lovely looking, perfectly formed cake. I can never get my cakes to have perfect domes like that! Definitley want to try this, and passionfruit is on my list aswell. That's a great picture of the batter with the beater swirls in it!

    1. Thanks Kim :) my Mum always teases me for taking the beater swirls photo! x