Chocolate Orange Layer Ring Cake

Chocolate Orange Layer Ring Cake

Phew! After a very busy November and early December, I can finally begin to do some Christmas posts on “To Boldly Bake”. However, during the time I was not writing anything for my blog, I began to ask myself what direction do I want to take this blog, and what type of baker do I want to be. Do I really want to take my baking to where no other bakes have been before, or do I want to rehash existing bakes with my own twist? I had to be honest with myself and convince myself that there is room for both approaches.

Chocolate Orange Cake 2

Sometimes baking can be a delight, other some times it can be very hard work, and on occasions a heart breaker where the bin owns all your effort. The other day we had some friends over for dinner, and I decided to make a chocolate entremet. I underestimated the amount of work that goes into making such a sophisticated dessert and had to serve it only partly finished. Very frustrating!

Chocolate Orange Cake 3

Thinking about Christmas, although later than usual there are some quick wins with which you can delight your friends and family over Christmas and my chocolate orange layer ring cake is one of those quick wins. The orange layer in this cake is packed full of citrus richness and a luscious orange colour that will pull the very young members of the family towards this luxurious cake. My wife who always says my cakes cause her physical harm, could not resist a few slices, overall this cake is a winner in my family and should be in yours too. It could also be in a supermarket near you soon.

Chocolate Orange Cake 4

Always remember this recipe will make 2 ring cakes. Depending on how much time you have, it may be that you make both layers over 2 days, but if you have 2 silicone baking moulds you can bake and decorate the cake in the same day. Ultimately, the success of this cake is in the orange layer. This means you need to pack as much orange flavour into the cake batter so that it is not only orange in colour, but the flavour speaks louder than the colour. By the way, make sure you have caramel to hand to bond both the orange and chocolate layers.

Chocolate Orange Cake 7


Equipment required

  1. Silicon mould ring
  2. Cake cutting wire
  3. Stand mixer or hand mixer
  4. A couple of spatulas
  5. A couple of mixing bowls
  6. A couple of cooling racks
  7. Hand whisk
  8. A couple of baking trays depending on the size
  9. Small piping bag

Ingredients for the Chocolate Orange Layer Ring Cake

For the orange cake

  • 170g caster sugar
  • 170g butter
  • Zest of one large orange or two small oranges
  • 1½ teaspoons orange extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange colouring paste
  • 3 medium sized eggs
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • Cake lifter

For the chocolate cake

  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 80g boiling water
  • 35g rapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs separated
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

For the chocolate ganache

  • 200g double cream
  • 120g semisweet chocolate (51% solid cocoa)
  • 25g white chocolate to decorate

Chocolate Orange Cake 8


Orange sponge layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C degrees fan
  2. Zest the oranges using a fine grater
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until it turns pale
  4. Add the eggs one at a time fully combining with the batter
  5. Add the colouring paste and orange zest and combine
  6. Add the orange extract
  7. Finally add the self-raising flour and combine throughly with a large spatula
  8. Once all combined add the batter to the silicon mould ring and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
  9. Once baked transfer immediately to a cooling rack

Chocolate sponge layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C degrees fan
  2. Grease the silicon mould ring with butter
  3. Measure the cocoa powder in a mixing bowl and pour the hot water over it
  4. Add the rapeseed oil and vanilla then whisk together
  5. Once the mixture has cooled down add the egg yolks
  6. Add the flour, 100g sugar and salt into a large bowl and combine using the hand whisk
  7. Add the cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients and combine using a hand whisk or stand mixer and set aside
  8. Now use the egg white to make a meringue making sure that the equipment you use is free from all oil traces of oil or fat as this will affect the outcome
  9. Using a hand whisk or stand mixer with a whisk beater add the egg white to the bowl with the cream of tartar. When soft peaks begin to form add the caster sugar gradually until a stiff peak is formed
  10. Fold in the meringue to the cake batter a third at a time combining well after each addition
  11. Once all combined add the batter to the silicon mould ring and bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
  12. Once baked transfer immediately to a cooling rack

Chocolate ganache

  1. Measure the semisweet cocoa into a bowl
  2. Measure out the cream into a sauce panned put on low heat
  3. Keeping an eye on the cream, just before it begins to boil add to the semisweet chocolate and set aside for a minute or two, then use a spatula to combine until you get a dark glossy texture. Do not over whisk the ganache otherwise it will turn to chocolate frosting.
  4. Make sure the ganache is not too cold to pour or too hot, it should be slightly warm.

I have found out that the measurement for the ganache is the best for pouring when using semisweet chocolate, if you use more than the recommended you risk not having a smooth even surface. So scale up or down based on the measurements above. The percentage of cocoa solids will also determine how your ganache turns out.

Assembling the cake

  1. Measure halfway the height of each cake ring and adjust the cake wire to cut halfway through each ring
    Chocolate Orange Cake 10
  2. The top of the orange cake will pair with the base of the chocolate cake and vice versa.
  3. Spread the caramel on both the orange layers (not the chocolate layers, as you risk damaging the structure) then combine the 1 chocolate layer with an orange layer
  4. Pour the ganache on both the cakes sitting on a cooling rack with a baking tray to hold the ganache that has dripped off
    Chocolate Orange Cake 9
  5. Allow to sit in a cool area for up to 2 hours and then drizzle the melted white chocolate in a small piping bag over the cake rings
  6. Use the cake lifter to transfer from the cooling rack to a cake stand or display
  7. Enjoy your Christmas dessert which can also be enjoyed throughout the year




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