Orange & Almond Cake with Campari Sorbet

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My friends and clients would all know that I am partial to Campari and other than the enjoyment of it as a sublime liquid, it makes a wonderful addition to a dessert or cake, and I have shared a couple of other recipes using Campari. This cake is just superb and although it does take some work, it is just so worth the effort. The Campari sorbet does need to be made the day before and you can also make the Campari glace oranges a day or two beforehand as well – they take 4-5 hours to cook. Just a hint – the sorbet is just soooo good you will want to make it again and again. It does have Campari, Vermouth and Gin in it so definitely not one for the kids!! This just has Venice written all over it, so make it for a special occasion and live it up!!

Orange and almond cake with Campari sorbet

2 oranges

3 eggs

100g butter, melted and cooled

100ml buttermilk

200g plain flour

175g almond meal

240g caster sugar

1.5 teaspoons baking powder

150g dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped

250g mascarpone, plus extra to serve

Campari sorbet

330g caster sugar

200ml Campari

200ml soda water

100ml freshly squeezed orange juice

75ml red vermouth

30ml gin

Juice of I lemon

Campari glace oranges

300g caster sugar

50ml Campari

2 oranges, thinly sliced

For Campari, sorbet, stir sugar and 300ml water in a sauce over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then add Campari and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute, then refrigerate to chill (30 mins). Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and churn in an ice-cream machine. Transfer to a container and freeze overnight or until required. Makes about 800ml.
 
For Campari glace oranges, stir caster sugar, Campari and 750ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the simmer. Add orange slices, weight with a plate and simmer gently until the orange slices are tender and translucent (4-5 hours). Remove from the heat and set aside in syrup until required.
 
Preheat the oven to 180C. Place whole oranges in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover generously, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and repeat twice more (oranges should be very tender). Drain well, coarsely chop, discarding the seeds, then puree in a food processor and transfer them to a large bowl. Add eggs, melted butter, and buttermilk. and stir to combine, then add flour, almond meal, sugar and baking powder. Combine well, then spoon mixture into 2 x 11cm x 23cm rectangular cake tins buttered and lined with baking paper, and bake, swapping tins halfway through to cook evenly, until golden and centres springs  back when lightly pressed (35-40 minutes). Cool slightly in tins, then turn out onto wire racks and cool completely. Trim edges and set aside.
 
Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, add mascarpone and whisk until firm peaks form, then cool until spreadable (2-3 minutes).
 
Spread chocolate cream over one cake, then spread with extra mascarpone, reserving some for the top. Place second cake on top, spread remaining mascarpone, top with the glace orange slices, drizzle with syrup and serve with Campari sorbet.
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