This rich Chocolate Orange Gateaux was created for Hubby A's birthday this week. It's been a cake in the planning for a few weeks now, and I'm happy with the result.
A run down of the flavours: Chocolate genoise sponge is liberally soaked with a cointreau and orange syrup, Rich dark chocolate mousse infused with fresh orange. The gateaux is topped with an orange gel, and decorated with Chantilly cream flavoured with cointreau and orange oil, a dark chocolate cake collar, and toffee shards/shapes.
This rich chocolate sponge cake was a development from the Experimental mocha torte I posted earlier- in particular improving the mousse filling consistency, and selecting the best flavoured chocolate as the base for this recipe.
I ran out of time to create a new cream design on the top, so I just used an old standard design. I was preparing dinner as well, usually I bake tortes or gateaux cakes a day before to let the flavours meld. However we had other engagements that day, so the pressure was on 😛 (Just to share with you, dinner was Roast rib eye beef with a hazelnut, bacon and fresh herb crust, red wine and mushroom sauce, creamy mashed potato and steamed vegies- so you can see my time was limited, but Hubby A was well chuffed and stuffed! 😉 )
So, grab big cup of coffee or tea and join me in this baking journey....it's a long post, as I'm including the recipe and pics. I hope you enjoy your read...And YES, it was really, really rich and delicious.
I'm going to write the recipe in the overall order of procedures for making the cake.
Chocolate Genoise Sponge
1) Bake genoise sponge cake, following my recipe at an earlier post. I added 3 large tablespoons of best quality dutch cocoa powder to the plain flour and sifted it twice before sifting it finally into the batter. This is important, as you want a smooth and even colouring of cocoa throughout the batter. If it's not sifted thoroughly you may end up over beating the batter and then deflating the air you've beaten into the eggs and sugar mix.
2) Once the cake has been cooled, cut in half and liberally brush with cointreau syrup. You will have some cake left over to make an extra layer, and you'll have enough filling to do so. I usually like to have more than one filling layer, but for this cake I used one...totally up to you.
TIP:To stop your sponge layers from sticking to baking paper. Sprinkle the paper with caster sugar before you place the sponge layer onto it. The fine grains of sugar stop the sponge from sticking, and they won't be crunchy in your filling later.
TIP:You could even prepare the cake up to this step the day before filling and creaming the cake. Put the other layer of cake on top, with the baking paper in between, then put into a plastic cake carry all and leave in the fridge overnight. I always return the cake to this carrier in between layering the cake, as discussed in this recipe.
1) Boil freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange with 3 tablespoons of catser sugar, until the sugar has dissolved.
2) Once cooled, add 3 tablespoons of cointreau or any other orange liqueur.
TIP: I always use a silicone brush for applying the syrup to the cake as it doesn't lose hairs, and doesn't retain smells. I also put this brush in a safe place so that no one uses it for marinades for meats etc- just to be on the safe side .
3) Line the tin with plastic food wrap, this is important for holding and setting the mousse layers. Place the thickest layer of sponge, usually a base layer at the bottom of the tin, as shown in the photo above.
Chocolate Orange Mousse:
This is a custard mousse, but without eggs like you would use to make a proper custard. I find this method works well in all weather conditions like humidity, it's more forgiving. It also doesn't use raw eggs in the mousse. I've also used this mousse filling as a dessert in glasses with biscotti and as a cupcake filling.
1) In a medium sized saucepan, add 450 mL of full cream milk and 200g of Lindt 70% dark cooking chocolate. Heat until chocolate has melted thoroughly.
2) Add the rind of 1/2 an orange to this mixture.
3) Mix 100g of Chocolate pudding powder (I use Oetker or Ruff brand, alternatively you could use vanilla custard powder mixed with 2 tablespoons of cocoa) with 3 tablespoons of vanillin sugar and 50mL of full cream milk. Mix to a paste, then add to pot mixture, stir over a low heat until thick.
4) Remove pot from heat and pour custard into a fine sieve to strain out any lumps and the orange rind. The rind will have infused it's flavour into the custard.
5) Cover custard with some plastic wrap or a sheet of baking paper, so that it doesn't form a skin. Allow to cool. I used my freezer to cool it down, checking regularly that it doesn't freeze!
6) Whip 200mL of thickened full fat cream with a little icing sugar if you feel the custard wasn't sweet enough. It should be whipped until stiffened and globby. Add to cooled custard and hand whisk through, until all of the cream is incorporated thoroughly.
7) Mix 2 teaspoons of gelatine with approximately 60mL of boiling water. Add to custard mix, it will separate a little at first, but whisk through thoroughly. Pour some of the filling onto one layer of cake. Put into freezer or fridge for about 8 minutes, then add another layer of cake if you wish, and repeat the filling. Return cake to fridge until you're ready to add the gel layer.
1) To a small pot add the juice of 1 orange and the rind of that orange. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sour the orange is. Bring to the boil, until the sugar is dissolved, and continue boiling until the syrup starts to reduce.
2) Strain liquid, and return to heat. I use a product called Tortenguss by Ruff or Oetker, it's a clear gelling agent
I added 1/2 a packet of this to the pot, and whisk until thickened. The colour will go from cloudy to clear. Pour gel onto the top of your cake. It will set quickly, so work quickly.
3) Return cake to fridge.
1) Whip 200mL of thickened cream with a tablespoon of icing sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of cointreau and a 1/2 teaspoon of orange oil. Whip until thick. Add to piping bag and put into a long container, and leave until later.
You could make this toffee the day before.
1) Add 200mL of water to 1 cup of caster sugar. Slowly bring to the boil. Do not stir, just swish the pot a little ever now and then. Do not leave toffee unattended. Keep the sugar syrup on the heat until it starts to just go a yellowy brown, remove from the heat and pour over a mould, as shown in the picture (the paper has been draped over a rolling pin). Allow to set and harden.
2) Gently break up pieces.
1) Prepare a long strip of baking paper that will go around the circumference of your cake. I placed extra baking paper down under this strip, so that I don't have clean chocolate off the bench.
2) Melt 200g of Lindt 70% dark cooking chocolate, then using a spatula, evenly spread the melted chocolate over the strip. Gently pick up the strip and wrap around your cake, pinching the ends together.
3) Allow chocolate to set- I returned it to the fridge to speed this up. Remove baking paper carefully. You can break the top edges as I have done, as this compliments the visual of the shards of toffee in the central design.
1) Pipe your cream design and arrange the toffee on top of the gel. Return to the fridge until ready to eat.
2) If you're going to eat the cake that day, it's okay to add the toffee. If you're making this cake the day before, add toffee before serving otherwise it will soften in the cream and gel. Store unused toffee in a clean glasses jar, and use for some other topping at a later date, or eat it .
Thanks for reading this recipe through to the end...I hope it was worth it . I'd love to hear your comments, particularly if you've had a go at this recipe.