Chocolate Orange & Almond Layer Cake
- 300g Dark Chocolate, broken into bite-sized pieces
- 250g Butter, diced
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 4 Eggs
- ½ cup Caster Sugar
- 1 cup Self-Raising Flour
- 70g Ground Almonds
- 1 tsp Orange zest
- 1 cup Cream
- 1 Tbsp Icing Sugar
- ½ tsp Orange zest
- ¾ cup Cream, extra
- 30g Butter, extra
- 250g Dark Chocolate, extra
- scorched almonds or small chocolate Easter eggs to decorate
Preheat the oven to 165ºC. Grease and line a 20cm springform baking pan.
Combine the first measure of chocolate and butter with the vanilla essence in a bowl and heat in the microwave on medium power or over a double-boiler until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
Using an electric beater, whip the eggs and sugar together for 5 minutes until the mixture is pale, thick and fluffy. Reduce the speed and slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture. Remove the bowl from the beater and sift over the flour and fold together with the almonds and zest.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set the cake aside to cool completely.
Combine the first measure of cream, the icing sugar, Cointreau, if using, and the second measure of zest and whip until soft peaks form.
Cut the cake into 3 even layers and sandwich the layers together with the orange whipped cream. Chill the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes.
To make the ganache, melt together the second measures of cream, butter and chocolate, stirring until the ganache is smooth, dark and glossy. Set aside the ganache to cool for at least 1 hour, or until firm and spreadable. Ice the cake with a generous layer of the chocolate ganache and decorate with the chocolate Easter eggs to serve.
Courtesy of Food Magazine. Recipe by Jo Wilcox. Photography by Shaun Cato-Symonds.