Having spent the last few of months of 2015 baking all sorts of complicated Christmas creations for the girls, I have decided to give myself a break, and strip my weekly bakes right back. Simple, yet delicious. The easiest way to feed 30 hungry mouths is with a tray bake cake, so I’m planning to explore different takes on that for the girls. The great thing about tray-bakes, is that they take minimal time – excellent when you’ve got approximately one billion other things on your to-do list! Fear not, though. I’ll be whipping up some more complex occasion bakes in my free time! So keep your eyes peeled for those.
On to the cake. Terry’s chocolate orange is one of my absolute favourite chocolate treats. There is just something about the orangey chocolate that is so moreish. I made chocolate orange cupcakes a few month’s ago, and they were delightful, although not quite zesty enough for my liking. So this week, I decided to up the orange content and make it into a sandwich cake for the girls. I use plenty of orange zest in the chocolate sponge, and then orange extract in the frosting – I’ve found that using orange zest in a frosting makes it go a little bumpy, and because it isn’t being cooked, it doesn’t really get a chance to release as much of the flavour as one would like.
for the cakes…
240g unsalted butter, room temperature
240g caster sugar
200g plain flour, sifted
40g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
zest of two small or one large orange
for the frosting…
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
350g icing sugar, sifted
150g cocoa powder, sifted
dash of milk
2 tsp orange extract
Terry’s Chocolate Orange Mini’s – Exploding Candy, roughly chopped
1) Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line two tins – I used a 25cm x 20cm brownie tin, but you could use square or round of similar proportions. Also – if you don’t have two tins, then just bake the cakes one at a time!
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Leave to one side.
3) Using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4) Add the orange zest and the eggs one at a time, along with a spoonful of flour mix to stop the mixture from curdling.
5) Tip in the rest of the flour mixture and mix on a low speed until fully combined.
6) Split the mixture between the two tins and bake for 15 to 20 mins, until the sponge is springy, and a skewer comes out clean.
7) Transfer cakes to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely. Don’t worry about the cakes not being super risen – once you’ve layered with buttercream, it will be the perfect height!
8) Meanwhile mix the icing sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and orange extract with a hand or stand mixer. Make sure to give it a good long mix to create a light, glossy buttercream.
9) Transfer your first cake to a stand or board, then spread half the chocolate buttercream evenly on top.
10) Place the second cake on top, and spread the remaining buttercream in an even layer. Sprinkle with chocolate orange mini’s and sugar stars.
11) Chop up and serve!!