- 250g slightly salted butter , plus extra for greasing
- 100g orange-flavoured plain chocolate or 100g plain chocolate plus 2 tsp orange extract
- 400g plain flour
- 500g golden caster sugar
- 25g cocoa , plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 eggs
- 284ml tub buttermilk
- zest and juice 1 orange
FOR THE MARZIPAN
- 85g golden caster sugar
- 100g icing sugar , plus extra to decorate
- 200g ground almonds
- 50g cocoa powder , plus extra for dusting
- 1 egg , plus 1 yolk, beaten
FOR THE FROSTING
- 2 x 250g tubs mascarpone
- 250g butter , softened
- 250g icing sugar
- zest 2 oranges plus 100ml juice
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of two deep 23cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and chocolate in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in your largest mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, orange zest and juice together in a jug. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 150ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump-free. Divide between the tins and bake for 45 mins - swapping the tins round after 30 mins if on different shelves. To test they're done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins.
- Meanwhile, make the marzipan. Mix the sugars, ground almonds and cocoa in a bowl. Make a well in the middle, tip in the egg and egg yolk and mix together with a cutlery knife before kneading with your hands to a smooth ball. Wrap in cling film and set aside. Will keep in the fridge for 1 week if making ahead.
- Make the frosting: beat the mascarpone and butter together until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, add the zest and juice, then beat again until combined.
- To assemble, split each cake in half horizontally. Dot a little frosting on your serving plate and sit one of the cake halves on top. You'll use about half the frosting to sandwich the cakes together - spread the plated-up cake with some frosting, then repeat to sandwich the remaining cakes on top. Brush the top of the cake with a tiny bit more frosting.
- Roll out the marzipan, on a dusting of cocoa if you need, to a rough 27cm circle. Using your cake tin like a cookie cutter, stamp out a marzipan circle, then carefully lift this onto the top of your cake. Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 small balls and stick them on top, using a little more frosting or water like glue. Spread the remaining frosting round the outside of the cake, then dust the top with a little more cocoa and icing sugar.
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