Baking | Chocolate Orange Almond Gateau … Sweet beginning to our New Year!

“Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.”

Erma Bombeck

Chocolate Orange Almond GateauAnother year… welcome 2011! She came into our lives 15 years ago, in 1996, on a chilly foggy 2nd Jan. It was cold beyond belief, and we waited for what seemed like forever with our baby bag packed,  never knowing when the ‘time would come‘.  A few false alarms later, poor Mr PAB was in panic and driving me down through foggy roads … it was time. After some rather painful hours, we found a new world with the sweetest little bundle of joy. She was here!He still remembers her cute little face, a huge mop of hair, eyes blinking, gurgling laughter … a little cherub. I remember not, nothing much, and that is typical me. My memories are recorded by Mr PAB, and he replays them time and again, whenever he is hit by a wave of nostalgia … happens O F T E N!. A golden child till she was 3. Then bit by bit she developed her own stubborn little ways, shaping her personality as the years went by…She turned 15 two days ago. No 1st January or New Year Day has the hype as the 2nd at home. Hushed whispers, gifts being wrapped and the teen in our mind. She isn’t the angel she used to be; much the rebellious little lady now. Life isn’t a cake walk at all given times, and handling her isn’t exactly easy. Still, her heart of gold makes life better! I know hope know we will look back at thesewonder years‘ and wonder how we pulled through. Until then, there is always cake!Chocolate Orange Almond GateauAs the years go by, it seems easier to make a cake. Teens are T O U G H to handle, layered cakes are not! Winter makes baking  and cake making fun. The cream {low fat is what we get here} whips into submission, the frosting sets and doesn’t melt, the bright orange hybrid ‘kinnows‘ colour the bazaar orange, and the tangerines are ripe for picking! I initially wanted to make something from the Le Cordon Bleu Chocolate Bible, but hadn’t taken permission to reprint the recipe. Made a Chocolate Orange Almond Gateau instead. There had to be some chocolate in there…Chocolate Orange Almond GateauThe orange sponge comes out light and delicious, like a cloud. It’s a recipe that I’ve made before from a tiny book  by Sue Ross. The method is different from any other, yet the cake is light, spongy and rises beautifully. The original recipe is for one 3 egg gateau, but I made 2 three egg sponges as we are a large extended family, and love our cake! There is no culinary joy for us without seconds; the kids will try and  get thirds if possible … the lad managed with his charming persuasive skills!!Chocolate Orange Almond GateauI didn’t get any pictures of the making as the day was dark, dreary & foggy. Thankfully the blanket of fog and the cloud cover disappeared for a bit on the 2nd, and I got a few pictures. The cake was wonderful and moist, with a beautiful balance of flavours. Orange, almond and chocolate hang in delicate harmony, each complimenting the other, no overpowering flavours. The basic sponge  recipe is a nice one to keep in your recipe folder as a base for layer cakes. I’ve got it in my folder …

Chocolate Orange Almond GateauChocolate Orange Almond Gateau
Serves 15-18
Orange Sponge
{I doubled the following recipe for 2 X 10″ sponges}
150gms {1 1/4 cup} plain flour
25gms {1/8 cup} cornflour
150gms {1 1/4 cup} powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 large eggs, separated
5 tbsp oil {I used sunflower oil}
5 tbsp water
Rind of 1 orange {I used kinnow, a mandarin orange/citrus hybrid, like a satsuma}
1 tbsp orange / kinnow juice
1 tsp orange extract
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line 2 10″ spring form tins; grease. {The original recipe uses 2 8″ sandwich tins for 1 three egg cake. I made 2 three egg cakes, each cake in a 10″ tin}
Sift the cornflour, plain flour, baking powder, salt and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.
Beat the egg whites till they stand in soft peaks. Keep aside.
With a whisk, lightly mix the oil, water, yolks, juice, rind and extract together. Stir into into the dry ingredients.
Beat with an electric beater on low speed until smooth.
Carefully fold the beaten whites gently into the yolk mixture.
Turn into 2 lined tins and bake for about 45 minutes till well risen and golden brown / until done. Check if it is done with a wooden pick. {Slide a sheet of foil lightly over the top if it begins to brown too fast}.
Leave in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on rack.
Once cool, cut into 2 layers each.
200ml low fat cream
225 gm dark chocolate
Place the cream & half the dark chocolate in a pan over low heat and stir until the chocolate has melted.
Put the remaining chocolate in a bowl, and pour the melted cream and chocolate mixture over it, and stir until all the chocolate has melted and is glossy. Reserve. {It will continue to thicken as it stands}
Filling / Almond Nut Whipped Cream
600ml low fat cream, chilled
4 tbsp almond meal
4tbsp powdered sugar {increase if required}
Whip all ingredients together till thick and hold peaks. Adjust sugar if required.
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
1/2 tsp orange extract
Small stick cinnamon
Simmer till the sugar has dissolved, and cool completely. {I usually keep a thick syrup in a jar in the fridge, sieved leftover syrup from poaching pears in}
Assemble the Gateau
Brush the cake with the cooled syrup and sandwich with the almond nut whipped cream.
Frost the sides and top of the cake with the ganache. Decorate the top with grated chocolate shavings etc. Top with a few slices of candied tangerines. Stick some toasted slivered almonds into the sides {Thank you for the slivered almonds Madhulika. Loved using  them!} Chill well for the flavours to mature. In winter keep out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. In warm weather, serve straight out of the fridge.

Chocolate Orange Almond Gateau
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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  1. AW, happy birthday to her! And what a fabulous cake to celebrate!

  2. What a wonderful cake Deeba!
    Happy New Year and all the best to you and your family. Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl!

  3. Happy belated Birthday to your beautiful girl!

    That cake is amazing! Even better than most cakes displayed in bakers’ windows…



  4. Well she sounds like a lot of sugar and ‘spice’, and that’s what makes girls interesting and nice. Deeba I want to say how your passion is so inspiring. Even though I don’t bake, your passion is so very infectious that it can be directed to any other area of one’s life. Thanks for the eye candy your blog has provided for me and my 2 sugars and spices. Wish your your daughter a very Happy Bithday and best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful 2011.
    Incidentally there was a birthday yesterday, Jan 3, very similar story to yours, She was born on the coldest day of that season in New Delhi. We were reliving a lot of memories of that time yesterday and how I was shopping in Lajpat Nagar Market less than a day before she was born!

  5. Shirley@kokken69 says:

    I could see that she has your smile when she was younger… But the smile seemed to have eluded her in the grown up photos… In it’s place were loads of attitude…kind of cool. But I bet the cake would have made her smile. :)

  6. Happy birthday to your daughter – what a magnificent cake! As the mother of 3 teens and a young adult, I completely understand the whole bad attitude thing. Thankfully they still display moments of normalcy and even joy from time to time, just enough to remind me there’s light at the end of the tunnel.


  7. What a wonderful cake, Deeba! It clearly shows how much love you put into making it! So elegant! Happy Birthday to your girl!
    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

  8. Happy birthday to your girl and yet another master piece!

  9. happy new year and belated b’day .cake is looking marvellous flavers of cake can be feeled here fatastic recipe

  10. ★•.¸¸.•*¨*❤•.¸¸.•*¨*☆•.¸¸.•*¨*❤
    HAPPY NEW 2011 YEAR!!!
    fabulous cake,congratulations!

  11. KavyaNaimish says:

    Belated Birthday Wishes To Ur Daughter…I love ur photography n da way u present da food…
    I’m planning to make a chocolate Ganache cake for my hubby’s bday…..Can u please tell me wat kind of dark chocolate do I need to use to get a perfect Chocolate Glaze cake???Do u have any recipe and tips in making the glaze…
    Thanks In Advance

  12. Belated birthday wishes to ur daughter, cake looks absolutely gorgeous and marvellous..

  13. Wonderful post. ;) Amazing job on this cake. It is just stunning.

  14. Loved reading your post, I started worrying about my little princess teen age now. Cake looks gorgeous just like your sweet little girl.

  15. Love the cake decoration! So pretty – as always ;)

  16. how absolutely stunning deeba. you are an artist. wishing you a very very sweet new year my dear friend. hope you had a great start to 2011.

  17. Such a gorgeous cake Deeba…I so want to spend my birthday with ya…Happy New year dear hugs xx

  18. I really enjoyed your daughter’s birth story. So nostalgic, so real. Happy birthday to her :)
    And a piece of cake for me, please :))

  19. Every picture tells a story & these my friend tell the story of a wonderfully delicious cake (sighhh) & an awesome picture of what it is to grow through our years – the humps & bumps of teenage years pass & the smiles return…. what a beautiful girl she is. Fantastic cake, I’m seriously tempted to make it – one of my New Years resolutions is to learn how to decorate cakes like (well….., lets be serious Anna) not so-much like you, but lets just say…. your my guru & I’m inspired to see something this gorgeous in my kitchen.

  20. Chocolate, orange AND almond?? OMG Deeba! If there weren’t an ocean between us I would be at your house RIGHT now!

  21. Wow, that is one amazing cake. I can only dream about making such a lovely cake. And your daughter is lovely too. 15, I can’t even imagine, although I will have a 15 year old one day (3 of them, at different times!).

  22. That cake looks wonderful.

  23. What a gorgeous cake!! Belated Happy Birthday to your not-so-angelic teen :))

  24. Happy birthday to your daughter! I’m sure everyone partaking of the cake was overjoyed to have a reason for celebration. This looks gorgeous.

  25. Gorgeous cake in that irresistible flavors combination! Many happy returns of the day to the young lady! Have ur orange almond cake since quite some time on my mind. Now that I finally got orange extract, am surely baking this sometime soon.
    My daughter’s halo around her head disappeared when she turned one:-)) She is only 3 and a half and is very assertive now, God save me when she enters her teens!

    And I must say, you look very pretty in the pic here..

  26. OMG the gateau looks absolutely yumm and wonderful finish Deeba. HAppy b’day to ur sweet girl. Its nice that u shared ur golden memories with us.. So sweet.

  27. It’s amazing how cake makes any day a good one, isn’t it? And how incredibly gorgeous this one is! I would have sworn you picked it up at some posh bakery. Bravo to you for making something this spectacular.

  28. Dear Deeba
    where to start with?
    Very happy birthday to your Doll!
    And a very Happy New Year to PAB family :)


  29. Your writing is as beautiful as this cake Deeba! Wish I could frequent your blog more to read more of it and get transferred to a different place but my angel is just 16 months old right now and is a li’l monster who barely gives me a time off :-(
    Can’t imagine her to be celebrating her 15th birthday!! Lots of good wishes to your li’l monster on her 15th, a very happy birthday to her and congratulations to you and Mr. PAB to survive these 15 years :D
    Happy New Year to you!

  30. Gorgeous Cake! Happy belated birthday to your girl and Happy New Year to you too!

  31. Happy Birthday to ur grown up lil one :)…Another bookmarked cake recipe.

  32. Our oldest is just reaching middle school as starting her transformation. Already my intelligence level is dropping and I seem to be deserving of exasperated expressions. Your blog; although beautifully photographed, was a bit disconcerting to a mother about to experience your pain. However, I know I will also be able to experience your delight and, my daughter enjoys baking cake. Perhaps I’ll have her read this post and bake it with me. Although, your decorations are stunning and I’m sure we won’t be able to compare.

  33. Priti says:

    Hi Deeba,

    First of all, congrats for this blog. We all agree that managing a home and taking time off for blog is one tremendous effort!! Kudos for that !!! :)
    I have just one query and it would be indebted to u for life if u answer me.
    Background: I am a new entrant in baking world and recently “attempted” to bake simple chocolate cake. I followed all instructions to the T but the cake looked like burnt toast. Flat and burnt. I tried various celeb recipes but all failed. All were similar recipes “preheat and bake using convection”,
    However, once i read a microwave recipe and followed it, as a miracle, the cake turned out to be eatable.
    Query: I saw that even ur recipes are the “pre-heat” ones. Is there any trick involved in using this convection oven? I use the LG Convetion Oven and it works well except when i bake a cake. Can your recipes be used for a cake using microwave???

    Thanks :) and praying for a response :)

  34. Just catching up with everyone after the Holidays…. this cake looks amazing… and I totally get it about teens, have 2 that are no longer teens…three that ARE teens and one that is about to be a teen..then the 2 that will be eventually. If I survive then it will be because of recipes like this cake. :)
    Happy New Year, my friend. Blessings!

  35. wonderful recipe and photos…

  36. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl and what a better way to celebrate than with a delicious cake like this. Hmm so yummy!

  37. I stumbled upon your blog and is truly captivated by your writing and photography. Will definitely drop by often if time permits to slowly savour all your bakes.

  38. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    So beautiful the photos of your sun-daughter! Happy birthday to her :)
    This gateau has my name on it – please look up there for it :D

    Have an Excellent 2011!


  39. My gosh, that cake is amazing! I just found your blog. It’s inspiring and GORGEOUS! Thank you :)

  40. Oh Deeba, I love the line “teens are tough to handle, layer cakes are not. ” Too funny! You have a gorgeous daughter and a gorgeous cake. I’m SURE you will look back and laugh about these trying times!

  41. What a lovely cake for the cute daughter. My bundle of joy came on 1st of January! And she gives the same pose and looks as your daughter is in the picture :)

  42. Lovely post! Your came looks absolutely amazing.

  43. Wishing your daughter a belated Happy Birthday. What a beautiful cake to celebrate the occasion. I just love those candied tangerines you’ve used for decorating the top, so elegant!

  44. That is a most beautiful cake – chocolate, orange and cream………wow. IT is stunning, but no match for the gift of a daughter, a child, a blessing. May her days be long, full of joy and grace, and peace..above all else. Have a great 2011, Deeba

  45. what a adorable for your adorable girl’s birthdays what a beautiful way to celebrate you girls day…Very happy b’day to her :)

  46. This is just about too pretty to eat! …Although, I think I might find some way to manage. Your daughter is a lucky lady. This is a most fabulous celebratory creation.

  47. What a gorgeous cake, and happy birthday to your daughter! The orange in the cake and the almond in the filling sound fantastic with the chocolate topping.

  48. Tiffany @ Conor & Bella says:

    Such a gorgeous cake!

  49. What a great cake to start the year, Deeba. Gorgeous pictures as always.

  50. That cake is absolutely gorgeous! We’d love if you could enter it into theRecipe4Living 5th Birthday Contest! You could win a huge gift basket full of Scharffen-Berger gourmet chocolate!

  51. I was browsing tastespotting and I saw this absolutely beautiful cake only to find out that it was yours, my dear Deeba. I shouldn’t be surprise that this beauty is your work of art.
    *kisses* HH

  52. What a lovely post Deeba, She is gorgeous! My eldest turns 8 this year and already I can see snippets of the teen she might become, ooh, scary. You are a wonderful mama, your daughter is in great hands. Happy belated birthday to her. The cake looks fantastic as always.

  53. This gateau is so beautiful Deeba.Orange and chocolate is my fav combo.Almonds are a bonus.
    Belated bday wishes to your daughter.I really like your picture with her in your lap.You look so serene & gorgeous even in that gown:) Your writing style is so balanced yet full of it.

  54. Deeba Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter! Well I would have promised to behave during my teenage years if my mum had made me a cake like this! It’s stunning! :D

  55. Deeba, this is such a lovely, heartfelt, beautiful story and your love for your darling, rebellious daughter shines through every word! We had two angels, gorgeous, wonderful little boys who turned into hard-to-handle, monster adolescents, each in their own unique way even though through the toughest times we could see that each had a generous heart. As we edge our way out of those years they have each turned into brilliant, generous, smart, fun and fine young men. Those tough years are their way of finding and asserting themselves, so be patient, kind mom, and she’ll prove herself to be a fabulous person. And I can tell you see it even during the hardest times. Gorgeous cake for a beautiful daughter! Happy birthday to her!

  56. Hello Deeba , Happy new year to u and ur family . This cake is beautiful and I am sure tasty too . Happy birthday to ur smart daughter .

  57. beautiful cake! love the mini oranges.

  58. What a cake, Deeba! More like a piece of art.



  59. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous. You should submit your stuff to!

  60. Brittany says:

    What a lovely post! As a teenager myself, I know that your daughter would be really touched to read this and hear what her Mum really feels about her. Happy Birthday to her, and I’m sure she loved the cake. It is really really gorgeous!!

  61. Wow….that cake looks like a piece of art. ….I wouldn’t eb able to cut a piece- It just looks tooo perfect! Happy belated birthday to mini PAB!

  62. Happy Birthday!! I’ve only just stopped being a troubling teenager, so I know how hard it is to deal with! The cake looks awesome though :)

  63. Your cakes are never anything less than stunning. Aboslutely gorgeous. I always have grand ideas in my head for making such confections but can’t execute them nearly as well as you. Your daughter is certainly lucky to have such a loving mother … here is to many more happy and healthy birthdays for you to celebrate together!

  64. Bellissima torta, ciao

  65. Cake looks fabulous !

  66. oh my lord….this looks like a cake from heaven Deeba, and exactly what i have been craving for lately! and what a sweet picture of you and daughter as a baby, you look stunning!

  67. 15 already??? Wow! Happy Birthday to your daughter. xx
    (and you still look exactly the same as when you had her Deeba!)

    Great Cake, that’s what birthdays are for!

  68. Oh Deeba your cake creations always leaves me in awe! Beautiful beautiful! Happy birthday to your darling angel! Did I tell u she looks SO like you?

  69. Hi Deeba,
    Made this cake with slight changes… thanks for the recipe and it was really good!

  70. Firdous says:

    I made this cake yesterday. I dint use orange extract. Just substituted with more orange juice. It was very good paired with the almond cream. Will be making this again.

  71. Deeba, tried this cake, it was wonderfully delicious, (my only addition was sugar syrup on the layers to make it more moist) Thankyou for sharing amazing bakes! (Also referred to DivyaKudua n SwapnaMickeys notes on their blogs, they hv tried this long back! :D) Hugs to you.

  72. Hi there, its pleasant piece of writing on the topic of media print,
    we all understand media is a wonderful source of information.


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