Chocolate and Orange Cake in a modern version. I saw a shape similar to this one in a recipe magazine and I was intrigued.
I made a orange-flavored chocolate custard cream. I added ginger in the syrup for the sponge cake and also in the streusel (crumble).
At the first try the ginger was lost due to the intense flavor of the chocolate. I then decided to add the fresh ginger to the streusel as well and that really makes a difference. The ginger offers crispness and it contrasts the strong flavor of the chocolate.
I used a 18 cm / 7 in square cake mold and a smaller 8 cm / 3 in square mold to make the shape in the pictures.
Chocolate and Orange Cake
For the ginger syrup:
- 150 g water 5.3 oz
- 100 g sugar 3.5 oz
- 20 g freshly grated ginger 0.7 oz
For the orange-flavored chocolate custard cream:
- 450 g milk full fat (15.8 oz)
- 50 g freshly squeezed orange juice 1.8 oz
- 4 egg yolks
- 115 g sugar 4.1 oz
- 100 g dark chocolate 3.5 oz
- 65 g cornstarch 2.3 oz
- grated orange zest 1 orange
For the chocolate Italian sponge cake (Pan di Spagna)
- 200 g eggs 7 oz
- 120 g sugar 4.2 oz
- 90 g flour 3.2 oz
- 20 g potato starch 0.7 oz
- 20 g sugar-free cocoa powder 0.7 oz
- For the almond streusel
- 70 g peeled almonds 2.5 oz
- 50 flour 1.8 oz
- 50 g butter at room temperature cubed (1.8 oz)
- 8 g freshly grated ginger 0.3 oz
- pinch of salt
For the ginger syrup:
- Put sugar and water in a small pot on medium heat, until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Remove from heat and add the grated ginger. Leave in infusion for 1 hour.
- Filter through a strainer and set aside.
For the orange chocolate custard cream:
- Put milk with the grated orange zest in a medium pot on medium heat.
- Meanwhile in a large bowl mix the sugar together with cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and orange juice, and stir until all the ingredients are combined.
- Chop the dark chocolate in the mixer, or with a kitchen knife.
- When the milk starts to boil pour half of it in the bowl with the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks.
- Whisk vigorously. When all solids are melted add the remaining milk, always by filtering it thorugh a strainer.
- Transfer everything back into the pot, put on medium heat while stirring continuously, until the cream thickens.
- Add the chopped chocolate and stir.
- Transfer back in a cold bowl and whisk for 1 or 2 mins to cool it down.
- Cover with cling film touching the cream, and refrigerate.
For the Italian sponge cake (Pan di Spagna):
- In the stand mixer fitted with whip attachment work the eggs together with the sugar at medium speed for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile sift twice the flour, potato starch and cocoa together.
- Preheat the oven at 180° C (355° F).
- Grease and flour a 18 cm / 7 in square pastry mould. Line an oven tray with baking paper and place the square mold over it.
- When the 15 minutes have passed slow down the mixer's speed and add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 times. Every time pulse the mixer at high speed for about 2 seconds to incorporate the flours.
- Pour the batter into the square mold and distribute evenly with a spatula.
- Bake in the preheated oven with the open valve (or door slightly open) at 180° C (355° F) for approx 25 minutes. Check the cooking with a toothpick.
- Remove from oven and let the sponge cake cool off completely.
For the almond streusel:
- Set the oven at 160° C (320° F).
- In the bowl of the stand mixer (or in a normal bowl) put the ground almonds together with the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Work briefly with the paddle attachment.
- Add the butter and keep working just enough to have a coarse paste.
- Transfer on a oven tray line with baking paper. Cook for 25 minutes.
- Take out from the oven and let the streusel cool off.
- Once cooled add the grated ginger and mix with your hands.
- Using a long knife cut the edges of the square sponge cake. Also cut the top.
- Proceed to cut the sponge cake horizontally in half.
- Perfectly overlap the two layers, and with the help of the smaller square mold cut the center of the sponge cake.
- Remove the top layer.
- Moisten the bottom layer with the ginger syrup.
- Using a pastry bag, place a small amount of chocolate custard cream on top of the first layer.
- Sprinkle it with the hazelnut and ginger streusel.
- Place the second layer of sponge cake over it and moisten with syrup like for the first layer.
- Transfer the remaining chocolate custard cream in a pastry bag with a big round tip.
- Decorate the top layer with big droplets of chocolate custard cream.
- Garnish with grated orange zest and some orange wedges.
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