Orange and Hazelnut Chocolate Cake
- Orange Chocolate Ganache:
- 200 g (7 ounces) good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 100 g (3 1/2 ounces) good quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 250 ml (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) heavy cream, 35%
- 57 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into four equal pieces, room temperature
- 15 ml to 30 ml (1 to 2 tablespoons) orange liqueur, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- Simple Syrup:
- 113 g (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) water
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) orange liqueur, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- Orange and Hazelnut Chocolate Cake:
- 141 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, extra for greasing tin
- 63 g (1/2 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 32 g (1/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa, extra for dusting cake (dusting cake is optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 75 g (1/2 cup) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and finely ground
- Finely grated zest of 3 oranges, divided
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) orange liqueur, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 169 g (3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs, separated
Adapted from foodgawker.com
*Orange Chocolate Ganache*
Place chocolate in heatproof bowl.
In small saucepan, bring cream just to the boil (small bubbles beginning to form around the edges of the pan) over medium heat. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.
Using flexible spatula, gently stir cream and chocolate together beginning in the centre of the bowl and gradually working towards the edges pulling in as much chocolate as possible until the mixture is smooth, glossy and well combined.
Add the butter and stir until butter is completely dissolved.
Strain the ganache through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Add the liqueur and stir to well combine. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache (to prevent a film from forming as it cools and thickens. Let stand until thickened, at least four hours but preferably overnight.
In a small saucepan combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat, cool slightly.
Add liqueur and stir to combine.
*Orange and Hazelnut Chocolate Cake*
Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Lightly grease base and sides of 18 cm (7-inch) round baking tin with softened butter and then line base and sides with non-stick baking paper. Using fine mesh sieve, sift flour, cocoa and baking powder twice onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Sift for a third time into a medium bowl. Add salt and ground hazelnuts and whisk to combine well. Reserve 2 teaspoons orange zest. In small bowl, combine the remainder of the zest, liqueur and vanilla and stir to combine.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until fluffy, 1 minute.
Reserve 28 g (2 tablespoons) sugar. Gradually add the remainder of the sugar (141 g or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons), the reserved 2 teaspoons orange zest and continue to beat at medium speed, scraping down sides, bottom of bowl and paddle attachment occasionally, until pale, about 5 minutes.
Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
Add the orange zest-liqueur mixture and beat to combine well. Remove bowl from stand mixer.
In a separate medium bowl prepare meringue. Beat egg whites and medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the reserved sugar (28 g or 2 tablespoons) and continue to beat at medium speed until stiff peaks form.
Using large flexible spatula, fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two additions alternating with the meringue in two additions using one third of the meringue in the first addition and the remainder in the second addition.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking tin. Using small offset spatula spread the batter evenly to the edges of the tin.
Bake until cake tester inserted in centre of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack. Let stand in tin, about 15 minutes. Remove cake from tin and return to wire rack, right side up, and let stand until completely cooled.
Using serrated knife, trim the top of the cake to create an even surface and then cut the cake into three even layers.
Transfer the bottom layer cut side up, to round cake board (board should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the cake). Using pastry brush, brush the surface of the cake layer with simple syrup. Spoon one-quarter of the ganache in the centre of the cake layer. Using large offset spatula spread the ganache evenly to edges.
Using pastry brush, brush the under side of the middle layer with simple syrup. Carefully place the layer, syrup side down, on top of the base layer. Brush the surface of the middle cake layer with simple syrup. Spoon one-quarter of the ganache in the centre of the cake and again, using offset spatula spread evenly to edges.
Brush the underside of the top layer with simple syrup and place, syrup side down, on top of the middle layer. Brush the surface of the top cake layer with simple syrup. Reserve about one-third of the remaining ganache (for decorating). Spoon the remainder of the ganache in the centre of the cake. Using offset spatula spread the ganache over the surface and around the sides of the cake (using more ganache for the sides).
Run dough scraper or straight spatula along the sides of the cake to create a smooth finish.
Using large offset spatula, smooth the surface of the cake running the spatula from border inward towards the centre.
Optional – using small fine mesh sieve, dust the surface of the cake with an even layer of cocoa.
Transfer the remainder of the ganache to large pastry bag fitted with decorative tip. Pipe swirls around the edge of the cake, spacing about 12 mm (½-inch apart).
Carefully transfer to cake plate or stand.