Chocolate and orange is a very classic, very delicious combination of flavors (see: everyone’s favorite holiday treat, Terry’s chocolate orange). My daughter loves the candy, so for her birthday this year, I thought: Why not put chocolate and orange together in her birthday cake, and throw in some Terry’s chocolate for good measure?
The resulting recipe that I came up with starts with a very light orange-scented sponge, using an easy all-in-one method: You simply put in all the cake ingredients together in a stand mixer and whisk them together for a couple of minutes to form a smooth and creamy batter. You’ll then pour the batter into four round cake pans—it will only amount to just a thin layer of batter in each pan—which will rise into puffy, fluffy circles of sponge.
After they cool, you’ll sandwich these layers with a rich but not-too-sweet dark chocolate ganache. All you’ll need to finish this cake are some toasted and chopped nuts (I like hazelnuts, but feel free to use what you like best) and pieces of Terry’s chocolate orange. What you’ll get is a simple yet stunning cake ready for any celebration. —Chetna Makan
1 hour 10 minutes
one 8-inch cake
Orange sponge cake
unsalted butter, very soft (I take mine out of the fridge to soften overnight)
golden caster sugar (plain caster sugar or light brown sugar work equally well)
self-rising flour (see note for substitution)
whole milk, at room temperature
orange extract (if you don't have this, use orange juice)
1 1/2 tablespoons
orange zest (the zest from one medium navel orange, approximately)
large eggs, at room temperature
Chocolate ganache and garnishes
slices of Terry’s chocolate orange, roughly chopped
high quality 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
hazelnuts, roasted and chopped, for garnish
to 10 segments Terry’s chocolate orange, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease and line four 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.
Put all the ingredients for the cake into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk for 2 minutes until creamy and pale.
Divide the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. The cakes should spring back slightly to the touch. Leave the cakes aside to cool while you make the ganache.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream. Meanwhile, place the dark chocolate plus the chocolate orange segments in a bowl. Once the cream has come to a boil, pour it over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and the cream is entirely incorporated. Cover the ganache and set it aside to cool, so that it sets slightly and becomes spreadable.
Once the cake layers have cooled, assemble the cake. Place one layer of cake on the serving plate and spread 1/5th of the chocolate ganache on top, sandwiching it with the next layer of cake. Add another layer of frosting on top, then another cake layer. Repeat with remaining cake layers and ganache. Finally, spread the remainder of the chocolate ganache over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it out.
To decorate, sprinkle the chopped roasted hazelnuts on top, and decorate with the remaining chocolate orange segments.
NOTE: If you don't have or can't find self-rising flour, replace the amount called for here with 250g all-purpose flour, plus 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (in addition the 1 teaspoon called for above, amounting to 3 1/2 teaspoons total) and 1/2 teaspoon table salt.