What a great cake. It is made from two sponges, soaked in an orange syrup, sandwiched together with a ricotta 'cannoli' filling. Then it is all covered in a vanilla cream icing.
Do not forget to add the choc chips into the cake, they are needed for the chocolate hit. The orange liqueur is optional, but I love it, so I add it. If you don't want to use it, just add more orange juice.
I recently changed the sponge part of this recipe, as this is a better sponge, than the one I had on here previously.
I have made this as a birthday cake for a friend of mine, and I have made it to take to a barbecue recently. So far it has been a hit with everyone that has tried it. This cake is more an adults cake than a kids cake. But my daughter who is eleven loves it.
I love it, it is light, it is fresh. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
Cake can be made a day before and kept in the refrigerator.
2 heaped teaspoons plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large oranges
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)
900g ricotta cheese
200g full fat cream cheese, softened
120g icing sugar, sifted
100g dark chocolate chips
Vanilla Cream Icing:
45g unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons milk
200g icing sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
450ml thickened cream
Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan forced). Grease (use canola spray) two 22cm round cake tins, ensuring you grease the sides of the tin as well so the sponge rises neatly.
Put plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar in a 1 cup (250ml) measuring cup. Fill the remainder of the cup with cornflour.
Beat eggs and sugar on high speed for 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds to combine.
While the eggs are beating, sift flour mixture three times onto greaseproof paper.
Turn the mixture to lowest speed and gently add the flour mixture and beat for 1 minute until smooth. Divide mixture between your two prepared cake tins.
Place in the oven on centre shelf for approximately 20 minutes or until the sponge springs back when touched or sponge is coming away from the side of the tin.
Take sponges out of the oven. Place baking paper on wire racks to cover. Turn sponges out from tins onto the wire racks. Allow sponges to cool completely.
From the oranges you need to grate 2 teaspoons of zest. Once you have zested the oranges, juice the oranges, you will need 5 tablespoons juice (if you are not using the liqueur increase the juice to 8 tablespoons). Stir liqueur (if using) into the orange juice, stir, set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add the cream cheese, beat for a minute. Add the ricotta and beat another minute. Now add the icing sugar and grated zest and beat until smooth. Stir in 45g of the chocolate chips.
Brush both the tops of the cakes with the orange juice mixture.
In a medium bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, milk, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. If needed add more milk to the icing to get it to a spreadable consistency. Fold the whipped cream into the icing mixture. Spread over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate while you melt the chocolate for the top.
Find the centre of your cake, now starting from the centre, make concentric circles, moving out to the edge of the cake. (Below is my first ever attempt at doing this, so it shows it is not that hard).
Now before the chocolate sets, get a cocktail skewer and draw spokes around the cake about 4cm apart. Start from the centre of the cake and drag the skewer to the edge. The next spoke should start from the edge and drag it to the centre. Keep alternating directions of your spokes i.e. edge to centre, centre to edge.
Refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 4 hours.
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