My sister's birthday was at the begining of this month - 1st April. She's not an Aprils Fool baby though, she was born after 12 noon :) I usually make people a cake or some such when it is their birthday. When we were kids Mother Mary always used to do them, so they were iced and decorated all proffesional. I'm NO WHERE near that standard. I can do the cake, just not the decorating.
For a week prior to the sister's birthday, I had been bugging her asking what type of cake she wanted. She wouldn't give me a straight answer, always saying to surprise her, or giving me a list of three or four different flavours. In the end I surprised her, with a chocolate orange cake.
I'm reknowned for chocolate cakes in my family, they have even been said to better than my Mum's at times (But shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don't tell her :D ), but I didn't just want to do your average run of the mill chocolate cake. I had a look on the interwebs for some ideas, and narrowed it down to two - a chocolate and vanilla Zebra Cake, using American style cake batter, or a chocolate orange cake, using a low fat batter. Having never made an American style cake before, I decided to go with the chocolate orange cake. I used my basic cake mix, rather than faffing and trying a new mix, and altered it slightly.
I made a bit too much mix for the cake tin, so the inside of my cake was a bit gooey, and the cake it's self collapsed quite a bit back onto itself as it cooled. This didn't alter the taste in anyway though. The weights below are correct for an 8" round cake tin.
Chocolate Orange Cake
200g Eggs (This is normally about 3 large eggs, however, before weighing out the rest of your ingredients, weigh your eggs (IN THE SHELLS!) to get the right amount.)
200g Butter/Marge at room temperature
200g Caster Sugar
150g Self Raising Flour
50g Cocoa Powder
Zest of 2 Oranges
Juice of 1 Orange
Pre-heat your oven to 180c/350f/Gas mark 4
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. The more you beat these two together the better, you'll trap more air and the cake will be light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, zest and juice until thoroughly combined.
Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl, and carefully fold in. Don't beat at this stage, as you have already got air into the mix.
Grease and line an 8" cake tin. carefully spoon the cake mix into the tin and spread out using the back of a spoon or a spatula. Don't bang or tap the tin to level the batter as this causes the air to escape.
Put into your preheated oven for around 30-40 minutes, until risen, and the top springs back when pressed lightly, and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes or so, then turn onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
I only did a single layer cake, however you can easily slice this cake into 2 to fill in the middle.
I decorated it using Betty Crocker's chocolate toffee icing, and Terry's Chocolate Orange segments. Sit back and NOM NOM NOM!
I forgot to take a picture of the thing before the sister cut it. FAIL!