Do you do silly things to show your love to your other half? I do. I make heart shaped cakes. And that’s not just silly it’s also completely naff! I feel I can justify it for this cake though which I made for my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
My version of the classic mud cake combines the dense richness of chocolate cake with lip jammingly sweet candied oranges with just a hint of liqueur. My husband and I didn’t just eat it, we devoured it; just like two puppies eating competitively from the same food bowl. I have my mother-in-law to thank for that rich analogy.
There are three parts to this cake, which at first glance just looks like too much trouble; but trust me, each step is really easy. So make it for your loved one. It will make them happy and grateful (whether you decide to exploit this to your advantage is up to you).
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup water
30ml Grand Marnier
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan, stir and cook until simmering.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the oranges into round slices and remove any seeds. I would recommend that you cut the slices thinner than shown in my photo. Use a mandolin if you have one.
When the sugar syrup is simmering add the orange slices. Allow to gently simmer until the orange is tender, about 45 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the Grand Marnier and gently stir. Allow to cool.
100g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
100g chocolate (70% cocoa)
125ml pure cream
1 egg, lightly whisked
30ml Grand Marnier
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of a tin (heart shaped or a 20cm round tin).
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt.
Chop the butter and chocolate into small chunks and place in a saucepan with the sugar and cream. Melt over a gentle heat and stir until smooth.
Remove from the heat. Add the egg and stir until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mix and fold gently until combined.
Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for approx 30 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin. While cooling, pierce all over the top of the cake with a skewer. Pour over the Grand Marnier. If you’re making a booze free version you could use some of the orange syrup instead.
2 tsp orange syrup
Place all ingredients in a saucepan over gentle heat and stir until melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
Remove the cake from the tin and place on a wire rack. Place a piece of baking paper underneath the rack to catch the glaze as it drips. Pour over the glaze and allow it to spill down the sides. Smooth the glaze on the side of the cake with a flat knife. Allow to set.
Place the cake on a serving plate and garnish with the oranges. Spoon over some of the syrup for some gloss, extra flavour and delightful stickiness. There will be some syrup left over. I would recommend that you store it in the fridge and use it as a sauce the next time you make pancakes/crepes or use it for an orange and almond cake.