Mary Berry's Very Best Chocolate & Orange Cake!! Ultimate Bake-Off

I am making this cake because in the 100th issue of Delicious Magazine UK (March) they are hosting the Ultimate Bake-Off.

The way it works is you make both cakes, one is the one I’m about to share with you, and the second is Carrot Cake by Paul Hollywood. Then you host a tasting session!

I am using my husband’s office co-workers as my tasters. Today they got this cake (minus a slice for me) and on Friday they are getting the carrot cake (to be posted Friday.) Then I ask them to vote for their favorite.

I have until the 1st of April to get the votes in either on twitter or facebook for a chance to win 100 GBP of Marks and Spencer vouchers!! The March issue isn’t on sale anymore, but you can get them from me! If you do make them both or have please tell me you’re favorite in the poll on my side bar!! Or if there was one you’d think you’d like best tell me about it! Here’s Mary Berry’s very best chocolate and orange cake…

Very Best Chocolate & Orange Cake

for the sponge:
100g unsalted butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasting
50g cocoa powder
90ml boiling water (if you’re not using a kettle and you’re boiling it on the stove make sure you boil more water then needed as you’ll lose some to evaporation!)
3 large eggs
4 tbsp of milk
175g self-rising flour, sifted
1 rounded tsp baking powder, sifted in with the flour
300g golden caster sugar (superfine sugar)
finely grated zest of 1 orange (un-waxed, scrub well if using wax) I left the orange out all together as my husband is allergic to citrus. So, I didn’t really make a chocolate and orange cake, I made a chocolate cake!)

Pre-heat at 180C/160F/Gas 4
Grease 2x20cm (8in) round sandwich tins and line the bases with baking paper.
Measure out the cocoa and water into a large bowl to make a paste.
Add all the remaining ingredients and beat until combined. I accidentally left out the tsp of baking powder and it didn’t seem to matter with the self-rising flour. I probably would have gotten a bit more height, but taste was not affected.
If you make it with a food processor be careful not to over mix!
Divide the sponge mixture evenly between your tins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponges are well risen and shrinking away from the sides of the tin.
Remove and turn out on a cooling rack to cool completely!!

150g dark chocolate (Cadbury’s Bournville is recommended!)
150ml double cream (heavy cream)
3 tbsp apricot jam

Break the chocolate into small pieces in a bowl with the cream and heat over a pan of simmering water for about 10 minutes until melted, stirring time to time. Don’t let the bowl touch the water.
Cool until a spreadable consistency. I put mine in the fridge for 10 minute intervals. The kitchen was too warm with the oven and what not to cool the mixture in a reasonable time!

To Finish:
Spread both sponges with the apricot jam.
Then spread one with half the icing and place the sponge on top and ice that one with the rest of the icing.
Cover the top with chocolate curls/shavings

For the chocolate curls/shavings:
Melt 75g dark chocolate (55-60% cocoa) in a heatproof bowl over simmering water as done with the Icing.
Pour the melted chocolate onto a large flat plate, baking sheet, or marble chopping board and leave to cool.
Once the chocolate has solidified, hold a sharp knife between your thumbs and forefingers at both ends, parallel to your shoulders, with the blade at a 45degree angle to the surface of the chocolate, then lightly draw the knife towards you in a single, smooth motion. As the blade scrapes up the chocolate it should form into pretty flaky swirls. However, I didn’t have a completely flat plate, a baking sheet clean enough, or a marble cutting board nor did I have a flat bladed knife. It didn’t work exactly as shown in the picture, but they turned out to be flaky shavings. At the end of the day it looked okay and it tasted like chocolate. It’s still a win!!

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