Kingly Orange Cake

A completely different chocolate cake, flavoured with oranges and covered with chocolate and marzipan, Kingly Orange Cake is time-consuming to make but a superbly decorative centrepiece for a special tea-time occasion.

ONE

9-INCH SQUARE CAKE

10 oz.

½ cups plus

1 teaspoon butter, softened

10 oz. plus

1 teaspoon flour

2 oz. cocoa powder

3 teaspoons baking powder grated rind of

4 large oranges

10 oz. sugar

4 eggs

7 fl. oz. fresh orange juice

MARZIPAN

4 oz. icing sugar

4 oz. castor sugar

8 oz. ground almonds

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon almond essence

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon orange food colouring

CHOCOLATE COATING

12 oz. dark cooking chocolate, broken into small pieces

GLAZE

2 tablespoons apricot jam

2 teaspoon water

DECORATION crystallised orange slices 1 strip angelica, cut into leaf shapes

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Using the teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a 9-inch square cake tin. Sprinkle in the teaspoon of flour and tip and rotate the tin to distribute the flour evenly. Shake out any excess flour. Set the tin aside.

Sift the remaining flour, the cocoa and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the grated orange rind. Set the bowl aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg, making sure the ingredients are well blended.

With a metal spoon, lightly fold in half of the flour and cocoa mixture. Pour in the orange juice and stir gently. Fold in the remaining flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin.

Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for ½ hours, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave it in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool.

While the cake is baking make the marzipan. Sift the icing sugar and the castor sugar together into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix in the ground almonds. Add the lemon juice, almond essence and enough beaten egg to bind all the ingredients into a paste. Be careful not to add too much egg or the marzipan will not be firm enough.

Sprinkle a work surface with a little icing sugar and put the marzipan on it. Make a deep impression in the marzipan with your thumb and pour in the food colouring. Knead the marzipan until it is smooth. Be careful not to overknead or it will become oily. Roll the marzipan into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and set it aside.

When the cake is completely cold, prepare the chocolate coating. In the top of a double saucepan or a small bowl placed over a pan of boiling water, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly with a knife or spatula. As soon as the chocolate has melted, remove the pan from the heat.

Using the flat knife or spatula, spread the chocolate over the top and sides of the cake, making sure it is smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool for 15 minutes.

Place the ball of marzipan between two large sheets of greaseproof or waxed paper and, with a rolling pin, roll it out into a large square. Remove the top sheet of greaseproof or waxed paper. With a sharp, pointed knife, cut a square 9- inches by 9-inches to fit the top of the cake. Set the remaining pieces of marzipan aside.

Carefully lift the square of marzipan off the greaseproof or waxed paper on to the cake, pressing down gently to keep it in place.

Knead the remaining pieces of marzipan together and place between the two sheets of greaseproof or waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll out into another large square. With a sharp, pointed knife, cut out four strips of marzipan, 9-inches by 2-inches. Gently lift the strips off the greaseproof or waxed paper and carefully place them on each of the four sides of the cake, pressing gently into position and pinching the joins to make the marzipan coating smooth.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan bring the apricot jam and water slowly to the boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat.

With a pastry brush, brush one side of the orange slices and angelica leaves with the glaze. Arrange the decoration on the top and sides of the cake.

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