The Future’s Bright, It’s Orange….… By Lucy Simmons
August 19, 2015
The future's bright, it's orange. An orange party for our son Murray's birthday, he's 25.....Chocolate cake tiers, lashings of orange butter cream, chocolate fingers and a tumbling bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups pouring down. Orange meringue nests filled with orange cream and orange segments dipped in dark & milk chocolate and popping candy ........ Great fun and yes, everyone got into the spirit of orange fancy dress and the whole place became Dutch for the evening and well into the early hours....
- Yields: 1
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line two 8inch tins and two 6inch tins.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, adding one egg at a time, 1 tbsp of the flour and all the cocoa powder, adding gradually until combined. Add the chocolate spread and keep beating until the mixture is full of air.
3. Evenly distribute the cake mixture between the 4 cake tins and place the 8inch tins in the oven for 20 minutes and the 6inch tins for 15 minutes, making sure that a skewer inserted into the baked cakes centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. Leave until completely cooled.
Orange buttercream filling:
1. Beat together the butter and icing sugar and add the orange zest until very pale and fluffy, adding a few drops of orange extract if needed.
2. Place a thin layer of buttercream in the middle of the cake, on top and around the sides stacking them up. Place the chocolate fingers around the outside of the cakes and tie with a orange ribbon to secure them. Cover the remaining 8inch cake with peanut butter cups. Take a straw and fill it with lolly pop sticks so that its stands upright and place in the centre of the smaller cake top. Melt a little chocolate and dip the Reese's peanut butter cups into the chocolate and stick to the straw, hold in place for a few seconds until they stand on their own. Arrange the remaining peanut butter cups around the top of the cake. Lastly, rest the Reese's bag on the straw to give the impression that the sweets are being poured from the bag onto the cake.
Orange filled meringue nests:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C and place the sugar in an oven proof dish lined with baking parchment and cook for 7 minutes, meanwhile whisk the egg whites until they resemble stiff peaks. When the sugar has become liquid add a tablespoon at a time to the egg whites beating continuously and add the food colouring to make it bright orange.
2. Turn down the oven to 100C and line 4 baking trays with baking paper. Make equal circles using come of the meringue mixture and place the remaining mixture in a piping bag with a small circle nozzle. Follow the outside of the circle with the piping bag, building up about five layers of meringue to make the nests.
3. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until they have dried, they are cooked when they can be lifted from the baking paper.
4. Whip the cream lightly with the vanilla powder and icing sugar until thick. Drain the segments of orange. Place the cream into a piping bag with a large circle nozzle and pipe in the centre of the nests just so it comes to the top and place the orange on top. Melt some more chocolate and drizzle over the top of each meringue.
Chocolate dipped oranges:
1. Melt the different chocolates in two different heat proof bowls over some simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted leave the bowls over the hot water. Cut the juicy oranges into segments. Dip each segment in the chocolates, coating half of them in dark chocolate and the other half in milk chocolate, pop a cocktail stick in the centre of each segment. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Whilst the chocolate is still warm sprinkle with popping candy and leave in the fridge to set.
2. Cut the ends of the whole oranges off so that they stand upright and straight. Place the orange segments in them with the sticks, they should resemble a hedgehog. My mum shared that they look like the old fashioned version of cheese & pineapple on sticks, stuck into a foiled covered white cabbage, only now we have orange and chocolate sticks..............