Monday 21 April 2014

Dark Chocolate & Orange Cake

The baking competition, Great British Bake Off, has now become my family's favourite programme. Recently, the final episode of the 2012 series was aired & John Whaite, a law undergraduate, was crowned the winner. The judges were particularly impressed with his Heaven & Hell Cake, an impressive combination of dark chocolate and orange cake & lemon and coconut meringue cakelets which was elaborately & stunningly presented. You may take a look at his creation & read more about his winning entry here.

That John was able to complete the whole assembly within 2 hours & without a hitch was just amazing! Just imagine, the recipe runs for three A4 pages & involves 27 steps! It's not surprising that the judges were extremely impressed with his creation as they found it 'stunning, beautiful, absolutely lovely, rich, very professional' & has 'perfect texture'. And as for John, he was 'most proud of the Heaven and Hell cake' as it reflected his interest in the kind of baking - 'elaborate, glamorous, and (one that) brings together different technical skills.’ And that certainly doesn't sound like me! LOL!

So I decided to do a simple & less glamorous adaptation of half of his cake & chose to bake just the 'hell' cake. It's a dark chocolate chiffon cake with a tinge of orange flavour sandwiched with orange jam & chocolate ganache. It's absolutely delicious, rich & very chocolaty. The texture is just perfect, very moist & spongy. The smooth & silky ganache is an excellent addition to it, making it the kind of cake you won't mind paying at least $6 for a small slice.  Just be sure to use premium chocolate & cocoa powder if you plan to bake it as it makes a lot of difference & it's absolutely worth it!

Dark Chocolate & Orange Cake

30g cocoa powder (I used Valrhona.)
115ml hot water
5 egg yolks
225g golden caster sugar (or regular caster sugar)
80ml canola oil (or sunflower oil)
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp Sunquick orange concentrate (optional)
1 orange, zest only
160g cake flour (combined with the bicarbonate of soda & sifted)
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
5 egg whites

  1. Preheat oven at 180 deg C. Grease & line two 20cm round pans.
  2. Combine cocoa powder & hot water. Stir until cocoa powder dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Combine egg yolks & caster sugar in a mixing bowl & whisk thoroughly  until light & pale. (I used a hand whisk.)
  4. Add in canola oil, salt, vanilla paste, Sunquick orange concentrate, orange zest & cocoa mixture. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add in  sifted flour & mix till well combined. Set aside.
  6. In a clean & dry mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peak.
  7. Gently fold beaten egg whites into egg yolk batter in 3 batches until fully combined.
  8. Pour batter into the 2 pans & bake for about 20-25 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove cakes from the pans & place on wire racks. Leave to cool completely.
  10. Remove top skin of the cakes. Wrap in a cling wrap & place in a freezer for 10 minutes to further cool & firm up the cakes.
Chocolate ganache:
300g dark chocolate (I used Valrhona chocolate block.)
150g whipping cream
100g quality orange jam

Place the dark chocolate and cream into a bowl and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate has melted. Mix the cream well into the chocolate. Set aside.

  1. Remove the cakes from the freezer and spread one with one-third of the ganache and another with the orange jam. Sandwich the cakes together. 
  2. Using a palette knife, cover the outside of the cake with another third of the ganache. Carefully place the coated cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
  3. Remove the cake from the freezer & add another coating of ganache (using it all up) to the cake.
Adapted from recipe by John Whaite, winner of  Great British Bake Off 2012

I'm submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Ann of Anncoo Journal.


Victoria Bakes said...

what a beautiful cake Faeez!

Faeez said...

Thank you Victoria. :)

QembarDelites said...

This cake of yours looks delicious! I will pin this for future bake soon:D

Faeez said...

Jeannie, I'm sure you'll love it.:)

ann low said...

Hi Faeez, This orange chocolate looks so pretty! Wish I can have a slice of it :)
Thank you for linking to LTU - Orange theme.

Faeez said...

Thanks Ann. Orange is a great ingredient to pair with chocolate. Thank you for hosting LTU!

Jozelyn Ng said...

I like the way you decorate the cake, looks so nice!

Faeez said...

Thanks Jozelyn. Only got the idea after playing around with the peels. :)

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