Zorba’s Tipsy Cake

This delicious chocolate and vanilla cake, rich with sherry and orange-flavoured liqueur and filled with cream, is an adaptation of a traditional Greek recipe. Serve as a dessert.


6 oz. butter

6 oz. castor sugar

3 eggs

6 oz. flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 oz. dark cooking chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon very finely grated orange rind

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

½ teaspoon very finely grated lemon rind

2 fl. oz. sherry

3 tablespoons orange-flavoured liqueur

10 fl. oz. double cream

4 tablespoons apricot jam

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190CC). Line the bottom and sides of a 6-inch cake tin with greaseproof or waxed paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, absorbing each one before adding the next. Gradually sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture, beating constantly until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer half of the mixture to a second mixing bowl. With a metal spoon, fold the chocolate and orange rind into one mixture and the vanilla essence and lemon rind into the other.

Place alternate tablespoons of each mixture in the prepared tin, swirling it slightly to give the desired ‘marbled’ effect. When all the batter has been added, make swirling patterns on the top of the cake with a flat-bladed knife.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn the cake out on to a wire rack. Remove and discard the greaseproof or waxed paper and allow the cake to cool completely.

Meanwhile, making the filling. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream with a wire whisk or rotary beater until it forms stiff peaks. With a metal spoon, fold in the jam and almonds stirring to mix well.

With a sharp knife, cut the cake in half, horizontally, and place the bottom half on a large serving plate. Generously spread half the filling over the top. Cover with the remaining cake half. Pour over the sherry and orange-flavoured liqueur and set aside for 15 minutes or until they have soaked into the cake. Decorate the top and sides with the remaining cream mixture and serve immediately.

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