Chocolate, Orange and Brandy Cake

by - November 03, 2012

I got this idea from a very skilled chef friend of mine, Helen Wragg, who made it for my 21st Birthday. My housemate's boyfriend has just moved in with us and it was his birthday this week so I thought no better to celebrate both his arrival and his anniversaire, than with this very indulgent chocolatey bomb and it's subtle nod towards Christmas.

I got a recipe from some website, can't remember now but it was all grams of this and cups of that, which is silly. Why not have it all in grams? and what size is a cup, America? cups vary! egg cup? Sports direct cup? I made this cake twice this week, slightly changing the recipe each time.

Here's a combination of both recipes:

for the cake:

1 mug of flour
1 mug of sugar
6 egg yolks
300 ml soured cream
150 grams dark chocolate
350g softened butter
one teaspoon baking soda
half a cup of hot water
big splash of brandy

for the icing:

200 ml double cream
200g dark chocolate
orange zest (as much as you want)
splash of brandy (as much as you want)

for the filling:

half a tub of Philadelphia
100g dark chocolate

Get your oven on at 180 degrees

Its a double layered cake so you need two round cake tins.

Get a food processor. The upright ones that you make smoothies in (if you didn't know - I actually didn't know and started making it in a mixer until Helen came to the rescue) snap up the chocolate and process it until the bits are smaller, then add the sugar and the hot water and blend until its melted. Then add the butter in chunks and blend. Then add the egg yolks, soured cream and brandy and blend. Whizzy whizzy whiz. Don't whiz it up too much though or your processor will get overwhelmed and start to smoke and it will be a strange burning plastic smell that will be sketchy. (In which case, turn it off and mix it by hand its good for your arms).

Pour all of that into a big blue bowl. Then sift SIFT the flour into the bowl and add the baking powder. Then fold it all in.

Grease proof your cake tins and then butter the greaseproof paper. Pour in the mix. Bang it in the oven for 30 minutes. Don't undercook it (through fear of it being too dry and then have to return it to the oven again later while everyone is waiting like I did - although it was then served still warm and they loved that) but don't overcook it. Stick a stick into it and pull it out clean to know it's done.

While it's baking get your ganache done. Smash up two big bars of chocolate whilst they're still in their wrappers and then put the very small bits into a heat proof bowl. Heat up the cream, stir it a bit until its almost boiling. Pour the cream onto the tiny chocolate bits. Leave it for a couple of minutes. Stir it all in. Don't over stir it. Don't worry if there are chocolatey chunks, that adds character. Pour a bit of brandy in (keep tasting so you don't cock it up) and grate in some orange zest (again keep tasting). Let that cool to room temperature. Whip it if you want.

Melt the rest of the chocolate in a glass bowl over some boiling water. When it's hot, stir in the philadelphia and mix it a lot.

When the cake's cool, spread the phili mix over one half then bang the other half on then slop the ganache all over the top and down the sides with a big flat spatula. Then roughly chop up some milk chocolate if you want and sprinkle that over the top for decoration and some more orange zest.

Give it to the birthday person with a firework in it like this:

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