Monday, 19 January 2015

Orange Mocha Gâteau (Wheat Free)

This week's unusual cake concoction is: orange mocha gateau! I know a gateau has a specific definition, but I think cake is not an appropriate word for such a confection.

Sunday the 18th was my brother's 30th birthday, and every year my brother asks for one of two same things: either cheesecake, or coffee cake. There's nothing better than a classic coffee cake when the time is right, but sometimes I do get a little tired of eating the same cake every year. This time, I thought I'd shake things up a little.

Recently I was a frequent sipper at a local café in Limerick city called "The Cellar Door", but it unfortunately closed down just before Christmas due to circumstances out of their hands. One thing they served, which I always enjoyed, was hot chocolate made with Terry's orange chocolate bars, blended with steamed milk. Orange and chocolate are a wonderful combination to me. The woman who co-owned the business tried mixing it with a shot of espresso, and a beautiful thing was created. Despite the fact that the hot chocolate with the added double shot of espresso is €4.80 ($5.60, or £3.70), I buy one every time and I nurse it.

I had come across the concept of orange flavoured coffee before; when I was a little girl, my father had found these sachets of flavoured coffees: orange, raspberry, and mint. He used them to show me how to use a coffee filter machine, and to introduce me to coffee; at the time, I thought it was gross, but later in life I revisited the idea, and at first invented my Coffee Raspberry slices. I had never really got back around to something orange coffee flavoured, but I thought this would be the perfect opportunity, but with the added goodness of a dash of cocoa.

Now, unfortunately, this recipe is not free from very much, but substituting all the butter and milk chocolate products for margarine and dairy free chocolate alternatives will make it dairy free.

Also, this recipe makes a four layered cake. My one in the photos has three layers, but that was due to an error I made: I didn't run the knife flush against the side of one of the tins, meaning one cake came out with the sides cut at an angle. The only way I could fix it was by cutting it in half and using only the full side. Although unfortunate, it meant I had a lot of extra cake and some filling icing left over... yum!

☑ Soya (check for soya lecithin)
☑ Yeast
☑ Wheat

☒ Cocoa
☒ Eggs
☒ Gluten
☒ Dairy
☒ Refined sugar products

For two 8 inch (20 centimetre) round sandwich cakes:
  • 4 medium eggs, room temperature
  • 4 ounces caster sugar
  • 2 ounces soft brown sugar
  • 2 ounces weight of sunflower oil
  • 2 ounces butter, or block margarine, or extra sunflower oil
  • 2 fluid ounces espresso, or 2 fluid ounces of boiling water mixed with 3-4 teaspoons of instant coffee granules
  • 6 ounces white spelt flour
  • 2 ounces cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange

For coffee cream filling
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, or dairy-free white chocolate
  • 3 ounces butter, or margarine
  • 3 fluid ounces espresso, or strong coffee prepared as above
  • 9 ounces icing sugar, sifted

For orange chocolate fudge icing:
  • 9 ounces milk chocolate, or dark chocolate
  • 3 ounces butter, or block margarine
  • Juice of 2 large oranges
  • 6 ounces caster sugar

First, bake the cakes:
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mk.4, or moderate). Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22 centimetre) round sandwich tins.
  • Make the cake mixture according to this recipe, using the coffee in place of the water and adding the orange zest with the eggs at the beginning. Keep your orange to juice later. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake in the centre of your oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cocktail stick or knife comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cakes. You made need to rearrange your oven shelves to get both in near the oven's centre.
  • Once cooked, run a knife around the edge to loosen the cakes, then leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling on a wire rack.
While cake is cooling, prepare the icing and filling.

For the icing:
  • For the chocolate icing, juice the zested orange and the second orange into a small measuring jug. Top the orange juice up with water to make 6 fluid ounces (180 millilitres) of liquid altogether.
  • Pour the diluted orange juice and the sugar into a saucepan and heat together gently until the sugar has melted. Bring to the boil, then simmer for two minutes. Keep an eye on the clock!
  • After two minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter, or margarine, and stir until melted or almost melted.
  • Return to the heat and cook for another minute, stirring continuously, until you have a smooth, shiny mixture. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until thick and spreadable.

For the filling:
  • Melt together the butter, or margarine, white chocolate, and coffee together gently. You can do this in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave in an appropriate bowl for 1 minute intervals on "Defrost", stirring after each interval.
  • Once the chocolate mixture is smooth and combined, add in the icing sugar and beat until creamy and there is not a lump in sight. Allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, or until it is a soft and spreadable consistency, but still only holds soft peaks when dropped from a spoon.

To assemble:
  • Cut the domes off both cakes (if they have domes), then slice each cake in half horizontally. Decide how you will assemble the layers, making sure the bottom layer of one cake, bottom side up, is on the top of the pile to make a flat top.
  • Attach your bottom layer to its platter with a tiny smear of the filling. Spoon one third of the filling onto the bottom layer, spread out with a palette knife (or butter knife) until it's about half an inch (1 centimetre) from the edge.
  • Pop the next layer on top, pressing it gently to secure it. Spoon another third of the filling on top and spread as before. Repeat with the last third of filling, and top off with a cake layer. Allow to sit in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm a little.
  • Spread about a third of the icing on top of the cake, making a swirling zig-zag pattern for decorative effect, then ice the sides with the remaining icing. 
  • If you always spread on the icing only and never allow the knife to touch the cakes' crusts, then you ideally don't need a crumb coat. If you get the odd crumb in, it's not the end of the world, but if you want absolute perfection crumb coat the whole thing first, set in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then ice completely.
  • Once the cake is completely iced, decorated how you like with sprinkles, coffee beans, or fine strips of orange zest (like I used), then chill the cake for about 30 minutes to firm up. It should be served and stored at room temperature, however, so let it sit on the counter (or hidden in a cupboard) for about 20 minutes before serving.

And there you have it! Something nice for your next big birthday bash.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR: Ginger Ale (No Brewing Required)

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