Sponge Cakes with Orange and Chocolate Topping

These little sponge cakes topped with an orange-marmalade mixture and coated in chocolate may be eaten on the same day as they are cooked, when they are really soft and fresh. Alternatively, leave them for a day and eat them as crisp biscuits .

18 CAKES

2 teaspoons butter

1 tablespoon flour

2 eggs

2 oz. castor sugar

1½ oz. flour

2 tablespoons cornflour

2 tablespoons marmalade

I oz. gelatine and

1 teaspoon sugar dissolved in

5 fl. oz. hot orange juice, cooled and on the point of setting

3 oz. dark cooking chocolate

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C). Grease 18 patty tins with the butter, then sprinkle them with the tablespoon of flour, knocking out any excess.

Put the eggs and sugar into a medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a pan half-filled with simmering water. Set the pan over low heat.

Using a wire whisk or rotary beater, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is very thick and will make a ribbon trail on itself when the whisk is lifted.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove the bowl from the pan. Sift the flour and cornflour on to the egg mixture and fold it in gently until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared patty tins, half-filling each one. Place the tins in the oven and bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until the centres of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

With a large spoon, carefully remove the cakes from the tins and place them on a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, stir the marmalade into the gelatine mixture. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes or until it is nearly set.

Put a teaspoonful of the marmalade mixture in the centre of each cake. Set aside.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt it slowly over low heat. When it has melted, add the oil and stir until the mixture is well blended. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the bowl from the pan. Spoon the chocolate over the marmalade mixture on the cakes.

Place the cakes in the refrigerator and chill for 5 to 10 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. The cakes are now ready to serve.

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