Orange Chocolate Cake
“Orange chocolate” is flavored and colored with orange. It is a Callebaut product, listed on their web page, www.callebaut.be, under the “Products” tab. It is sold in Europe, but is not regularly imported and resold in the U.S. If you cannot find orange-flavored chocolate, use the same amount of white chocolate called for in the recipe. Before using the chocolate, melt it, then add the zest of 1 orange. Tint orange with food coloring. Hold the chocolate at 93 to 95 F for 30 minutes, then strain out the zest and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- Chocolate Decorations
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 2 ounces
- Candied apricots - 1-1/2 cups, quartered
- Grand Marnier - 1/2 cup
- Almond Sponge Cake
- Eggs - 10
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Marzipan - 1/3 cup, cut into 3 pieces
- Sugar - 2 cups
- Unsifted Flour - 2 cups
- Orange-flavored chocolate - 12 ounces, from Belgium Callibaut
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 cups
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 2 ounces, melted
- Candied orange zest - 1 cup, cut in fine julienne
- Strawberries - 2 large, stemmed and halved
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup, beaten to firm peaks with 1 tablespoon of sugar
To prepare the chocolate garnishes: Cut a 6-inch by 1-1/4-inch piece of 1/16-inch thick cardboard to make a leaf-shaped stencil, about 5 inches long and 3/4 inch wide at the widest point. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water and heat to 110 F. Remove from heat and stir slowly until the chocolate cools to 90 F. Set the pan on a heating pad set to maintain 90 F. Place the stencil on the prepared pan and spoon a little chocolate into the stencil. Spread smooth with the back of a spoon. Lift the stencil and repeat to make 10 "petals." Make one circular drop of chocolate, about 3/4 inch in diameter, for a center. Place in the refrigerator and let the petals and center set.
To prepare the apricots: Put the candied apricots in a non-aluminum bowl and add the Grand Marnier; mix well. Set aside to soak, stirring from time to time.
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 12-inch circular baking pan and line with parchment paper; butter the parchment and sprinkle lightly with flour. Put the eggs, egg yolks, marzipan, and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until the mixture is light and creamy; this may take 5 to 7 minutes. Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold together, preserving as much volume as possible. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake 20 to 30 minutes, until the center springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely on a rack.
To make the orange-chocolate mousse: Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Beat the whipped cream until foamy. Sprinkle with the sugar and continue beating to soft peaks. Gently fold a large spoonful of whipped cream into the chocolate to lighten it, then gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate in 3 additions, taking care to preserve the volume of the cream.
To assemble the cake: Place a 10-inch diameter tart ring on the almond cake, leaving a little cake showing around the edge. Spoon a layer of candied apricots over the top of the cake inside the ring. Fill the ring with the orange chocolate mousse. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.
To decorate: Loose the ring very carefully and lift. Fold an 8-inch circle of parchment paper into a cone and fill with melted bittersweet chocolate. Snip the tip to form a very small opening. Decorate the top of the cake all over with swirled spirals of piped chocolate. Place candied orange peel julienne around the top edge of the cake, criss-crossing the julienne pieces. Lift the chocolate decorations from the pan. Place the chocolate circle in the center of the cake; stand petals around the circle, leaning them slightly away from the center to form a blossom. Position four strawberry halves, cut-side down, points toward the center, around the blossom. Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip and pipe ovals of whipped cream upwards from the exposed edge of the cake onto the mousse layer. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
To serve. Place the cake on the table. Stand back and wait for raves. Then cut into individual slices.