Chocolate Orange Sponge Sandwich Cake

Servings: 12 – 15                    Time: About 1 hr 40 min.                             Difficulty: Average

IMGP3817 Wed 31st - Fully decorated Choc sponge for Limelight

Chocolate cake is many peoples favourite. This recipe turns a good basic chocolate cake into something a bit more special, in taste, texture and looks.

The cake
– 175g extra fine sponge flour (or plain flour)
– 25g cocoa powder
– 200g caster sugar
– 200g unsalted butter, softened
– 3 – 4 eggs*, beaten
– 1 tbsp water
Orange cream cheese filling
– 40g – 50g unsalted butter, softened
– 30g – 40g full fat cream cheese*
– 120g – 150g icing sugar
– 1 – 2 tbsp warm water
– Zest of half an orange
– 10 ml of orange flower water, orange essence or similar flavouring
– Orange food colouring gel
– 40g – 50g unsalted butter, softened
– 30g – 40g full fat cream cheese*
– 120g – 150g icing sugar
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder
– 1 – 2 tbsp warm water
– sprinkles or similar to decorate
* At room temperature, not straight from the fridge.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan oven 160C/Gas 4
2. Grease and line the base of two round 20cm loose bottom cake tins.
3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl and put aside.
4. Beat the butter then add the sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. While still beating, gradually add the eggs and water with a little of the flour.
5. With a large metal spoon, gently fold in the rest of the flour & cocoa powder until fully combined.
6. Spoon the mixture equally into the two tins. (Weigh if necessary.) Level the surfaces.
7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until well risen and pulling away from the side of the tins. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to fully cool.
8. When they’ve cooled, decide which will be the bottom cake and place it on a suitable board to make it easier to move around.
Orange filling
9. Beat the butter well, then add the cream cheese and continue beating.
10. Sieve in the icing sugar and mix in with the warm water. Add the orange zest, orange flavouring and colour gel. Mix thoroughly to achieve consistent colour, scraping down the sides of the bowl so that no white icing sugar remains.
11. Spread the filling over the lower cake then place the other cake on top with its flatter side uppermost. Put in the fridge while you make the topping.
12. Follow the same mixing procedure as above, this time sieving in cocoa powder with the icing sugar.
13. If the top of the cake is crumbly then take out 2 teaspoons of the topping mixture and put into a small bowl. Add a little water to thin it then brush this mixture over the top of the cake to create a crumb coat. Return cake to fridge for about 15 minutes.
14. Put blobs of the mixture on the cake. Use a spatula to smooth it over the top evenly.
15. Decorate as you wish. One possibility is to draw a fork across the wet topping to create an attractive pattern then add sprinkles or similar.