It’s not Terry’s, it’s MINE: delicious chocolate orange birthday cake
Now I’m a firm believer in taste over presentation when it comes to pudding. But I realised last night that this rule should not be applied to birthday cakes. Unless you want the recipient to make genuine ‘oh you really shouldn’t have’ noises.
I’m not entirely sure what went wrong with my chocolate and orange cake – I’ve executed the same recipe perfectly successfully before. Honest. But this time it just all went a bit collapsey at the crucial moment. I think my flour to cocoa powder ratio was a bit off, with too much cocoa powder and so a bit of a brittle sponge as the end product. When I came to slice the sponge and tried to remove the top half of the sandwich, it started to crumble in my hands. Unfortunately this was also the moment the birthday boy came home. Or rather he came in to find me anxiously trying to slot my orange butter cream into the sides of the cake.
Nonetheless it was a nice choclatey sponge. Maybe it was more of a birthday gateaux though…
Here’s how to recreate the cake (hopefully more successfully than I did)
160g caster sugar
110g self-raising flour, 50g cocoa powder (I’m rewriting pudding history here- as I said, I used more cocoa powder and less flour than this)
Tsp of baking powder
1. Cream the butter and sugar.
2. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add gradually to the mixture.
3. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and mix in. Grate orange zest in and add a squeeze of orange juice.
4. Divide between two greased cake tins or pour into one- cutting it in half once cooled is never usually a problem. Bake for 25 minutes at 180C/360F/Gas mark 4.
5. While you’re baking the cake prepare some orange butter cream by adding butter to icing sugar with the grated zest and squeeze of juice from one orange until you have enough mixture and it is reasonably stiff. Pop in the fridge.
6. While the cake is cooling, make a fudgey icing for the topping. Melt a tbsp of butter and four tbsp of golden syrup. Add enough icing sugar and cocoa powder until it is nice and choclatey and not too running (particularly if, like me, you intend to use the icing for structural repairs).
7. Spread over the cake, leave to cool and then decorate (and cover a multitude of sagging sponge sins) with a circular fan of Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments.
Then present to recipient with such an exuberant ‘Happy Birthday!’ that they fail to notice the jagged edges of the sponge where bits have crumbled off. Or the fact that you’ve had to stash the evidence of a slightly less than perfect sponge in your mouth.