Orange custard cream layer cake

This three-tiered sponge cake, bursting with the flavours of citrus, is a superb addition to any large gathering.
Orange custard cream layer cakeWilliam Meppem
10 - 12
1H 20M

This cake’s excellent for feeding a crowd, but if you’re catering for a smaller group, cut the cake component down by a third. Make the full quantity of custard cream filling though – it won’t go to waste.


Orange custard cream
Chocolate fudge glaze


1.Preheat oven to 180C. Butter three 20cm-diameter cake tins, line the bases with baking paper and dust the sides with flour. Whisk eggs, sugars, vanilla seeds and orange rind on high speed in an electric mixer until mixture triples in volume and holds a trail (10-12 minutes). Transfer to a large bowl, sift in flour and baking powder in 2 batches, folding to combine after each addition, then fold in almond meal then butter. Divide evenly among prepared cake tins and bake, swapping tins partway through cooking, until dark golden and centres spring back when gently pressed (15-20 minutes). Cool briefly in tins, then cool completely on a wire rack.
2.For custard cream, bring milk, cream and rind to the simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk yolks, sugar, cornflour, flour and juice in a bowl to combine (this will be quite a dry mixture), then, whisking continuously, pour in hot cream mixture. Return custard to pan and whisk continuously until thick and smooth (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in liqueur. Transfer to a bowl, cover directly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and refrigerate until chilled. Whisk to loosen, then fold in thickened cream.
3.For chocolate fudge glaze, stir sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook until a light syrup forms (30 seconds). Add chocolate and remove from heat. Meanwhile, bring cream to the boil, add to chocolate and stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
4.Stir marmalade and liqueur in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until combined. Brush each sponge cake with a little extra liqueur, then spread marmalade mixture over two of the cakes and top each with half the orange custard cream, spreading to the edges. Stack one cake on top of the other on a serving plate, then top with remaining cake. Drizzle with warm chocolate fudge glaze, scatter with almonds and serve with extra warmed chocolate fudge glaze.

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