A special chocolate and orange birthday

IMG_1619Happy birthday to my boyfriend! I made this cake last yearand it was such a success, he asked for the exact same cake… of course I wasn’t too keen on repeating things, so looked for another flavour; cue chocolate and orange. Chocolate cake with orange french buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate orange macarons. Cake making went smoothly, buttercream was perfect, the macarons played ball and decorating was relatively uneventful, though ganaching a cake is still not my favourite thing to do.

The chocolate cake is the same cake as last year, but i used 3/4 of the batter for the cake to make 3 6inch layers and used the other 1/4 to make 3 cupcakes. Because a 4 layer cake would have been excessive and ridiculously tall.

A little bit about french buttercream: rich, silky and smooth, its made like italian meringue buttercream but with egg yolks instead of whites. I find it less buttery. It works fantastically to fill cakes.

I used almond milk for the ganache, because well almond milk is awesome. and healthier than cream.

Cake

  • 100g almond meal
  • 3 eggs
  • 180g brown sugar
  • 300g peeled and grated courgette
  • 120g flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • orange zest (1 orange)

Preheat oven to 180˚C, line and grease 3 6 inch tins.

Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Add courgette and almond meal, then the flour, cocoa and baking powder and orange zest. Beat until incorporated

Pour 1/4 of mix into cupcake liners and the other 3/4 evenly into the tins and bake for 20-30 mins

Buttercream

4 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

orange zest (2 oranges)

200g butter

red and yellow colouring

  • whisk the yolks until paleIMG_1622
  • while whisking, combine sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat
  • when the sugar reaches softball (115˚C) take off the heat and slowly stream into the yolks while whisking
  • once cool (10mins) gradually add the butter, zest and colouring.

Ganache

250 g dark chocolate

125 ml almond milk

  • heat almond milk until simmering, then pour it over the chopped up chocolate
  • after 3 minutes or so stir until smooth.
  • cool until peanut butter texture

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Assembly

Place the bottom layer on a 6 inch cake board

Pipe a border of ganache and layer with 1/3 buttercream

Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat the piping and filling step.

Place the final layer of cake on top

Place the whole thing in the fridge to firm up

Ice with ganche

Top with macarons

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100’s and 1000’s Chocolate cake with Malted chocolate Icing

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So when life gives you lemons… trade them in for some sprinkles, because to be honest, you can’t stay sad when there are sprinkles involved. So a bit of therapy for me during the last few weeks of uni was to bake a cake and throw a tonne of sprinkles on it. Actually, I had baked the cake the week before, and made the icing, but in the end I didn’t need either, so they went into the freezer until the need arose to (as mentioned) throw some sprinkles around.

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Topped with these cute cupcake toppers, who could fail to smile when looking at this cake. Also it doesn’t hurt that it tasted good too. Malted chocolate icing and a dark chocolates cake, filled with a whipped caramel cream filling. And sprinkles. don’t forget the sprinkles. So look, read, and bake. And most importantly, don’t forget to smile.

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Cake

  • 165 g all-purpose flour
  • 300 g granulated sugar
  • 65g Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • 10g baking soda
  • 5 g baking powder
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 180 ml buttermilk, room temperatureIMG_1553
  • 1800 ml strong black coffee, hot
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 5 ml pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C. Prepare 2 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients, including sugar. Combine eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla in a measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork.
  3. Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. (Batter will be thin)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Continue to bake until toothpick or skewer comes almost clean, about 12 more minutes. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool

 

Malted Chocolate Icing

  • 220 g butter, at room temperature
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 50 g Ovaltine Classic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 125g quality chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
  • 60 ml whipping cream
  1. In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
  2. Add malt powder, vanilla and salt, and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute.

 

Whipped Caramel Cream FillingIMG_1574

  • 125ml whipping cream
  • 120g cream cheese
  • 100g melted caramel chocolate baking chips
  1. whip the cream until thickened and peaks just start to form
  2. Gradually add the cream cheese followed by the chocolate, with the mixer on low.
  3. Increase the speed until firm peaks form and the filling is spreadable

 

Assembly

Once cakes are cooled, place the bottom layer on a plate of your choice or a turntable for icing smoothing.

Spread a thick layer of the filling on top, then place the second cake on top.

Ice a crumb coat of the malt icing, then refrigerate for 10 minutes (minimum)

Ice your cake as you like it.

Attack with sprinkles.

Smile

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