Well it is officially reading week (or half term if you are not at university) so I get a whole week off from teaching legal theory to hung over 18 year olds.
I felt this delightful occasion called for a celebration, so obviously there had to be cake. I have actually used this recipe for my own birthday cake before because it is just so damn good. Yes, I make my own birthday cake; yes, I’m a little bit sad. I’m also a control freak when it comes to cake.
Although there is orange juice in the recipe, the cake itself won’t taste like orange. It just helps to keep the cake mix itself from being too sweet. The end result should be a lovely sponge cake speckled with chocolate chips and covered in creamy chocolate ganache. How much ganache you need depends a little bit on whether you plan to make the cake in two halves and how thick you want your chocolate coating. The amount specified in the recipe was more than enough to cover one large cake (and one banana because what’s the point of making chocolate things when you don’t get to eat the leftovers?). Personally I like to make this the day before to give the ganache some time to set properly but it is just as good on the same day.
2 ½ tsps baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsps orange juice
70g milk/dark chocolate chips (if you can’t find chocolate chips just cut the chocolate into small pieces with a sharp knife)
150ml double cream
1 tbsp golden syrup
220g dark chocolate
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C fan assisted).
2. Mix together butter and sugar until creamy and well combined.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mix for at least 30 secs after each egg.
4. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking power. In a measuring jug combine milk, orange juice and vanilla extract.
5. Alternately add flour and liquid to the mixing bowl until you have a fairly liquid looking cake mix. Use a spoon to stir in the chocolate chips, and be careful not to beat the cake mix too much.
6. Line and flour either a 28cm round cake tin, or two small sandwich tins, and pour in the cake mix. Bake for 30-35 mins or until it starts coming away from the sides and looks golden brown on top.
7. Leave cake to cool for a bit, you can put it in the fridge or freezer if you are in a hurry.
8. Once the cake has cooled break chocolate into small pieces in a mixing bowl and melt either over a double boiler or carefully in the microwave.
9. Slowly pour the double cream into the melted chocolate while stirring continuously. You want to end up with a nice glossy chocolatey mixture. If your ganache splits using an electric mix generally helps it come together again. Leave to cool for a bit and then spread evenly over the top of your cake and around the sides. The longer you leave it to cool the thicker it will become so adjust the cooling time depending on how much chocolate you want to cover your cake in.