Chocolate orange marble layer cakes

Last weekend, I asked the pony to choose something from my to-bake list for me to make.

When he chose chocolate orange cake, I was a little disappointed, as I had been hoping for something a bit more challenging. But a promise is a promise, so I set about thinking of ways I could put a bit of a twist on a simple chocolate orange cake.

I decided to combine it with another item on my to-bake list, marble cake. But not content at that, I decided that rather than one big cake, I would make several mini layer cakes (yes, I did have quite a bit of time on my hands).

I baked the sponge in a 9×13 rectangle tin, then used a tin can to cut out rounds. I ended up with 4 mini cakes, each 3 layers high, sandwiched and covered with chocolate ganache.

A little extravagant maybe, but I think they looked quite impressive and the pony enjoyed eating them!

Chocolate orange marble layer cakes (sponge adapted from Apple and Spice):

Makes 4 individual cakes

  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1tbsp milk
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 300ml double cream
  • 300g dark chocolate

Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and fold until just combined. Divide the mixture in half, then to one bowl stir in the zest and juice of the orange, and to the other bowl the cocoa powder and milk.

Spoon the two mixtures alternately into a greased and lined 9×13″ tin, so it looks like this:

Using a knife or skewer, swirl the two mixtures together lightly, being careful not to over-mix. Bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour, or until golden and springy. Leave to cool, then turn out of the tin and remove the baking paper.

Using a tin can, or circular biscuit cutter, cut out 12 rounds from the sponge (I could only get 11, but you can get two more halves from the edges).

For the ganache, heat the cream until almost boiling, then pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Leave to cool until thick enough to spread.

To assemble the cakes, take four of the rounds and spread a layer of ganache on top. Top with another sponge, then ganache, sponge and ganache again, finishing by spreading a layer of ganache all over to act as a crumb coat.

Chill for half an hour, then reheat the remaining ganache to a pouring consistency. Pour on top of the four cakes, then spread down the sides with a spatula to cover evenly. Leave to set, then eat!

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