Orange and almond cake with Campari sorbet

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 - 10 people

It's no secret that GT staffers are partial to a Negroni or two and the flavours translate perfectly to a dessert. A hint of bitter chocolate may depart from tradition, but it's a winner in our book. The Campari oranges are a final flourish, but if it's a bridge too far, opt for shop-bought glacé orange slices instead. Begin this recipe a day ahead to freeze the sorbet.

  • 2 oranges
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 gm butter, melted and cooled
  • 100 ml buttermilk
  • 200 gm (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 175 gm (1½ cups) almond meal
  • 240 gm caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 150 gm dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 250 gm mascarpone, plus extra to serve
  •  
  • Campari sorbet
  • 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • 200 ml Campari
  • 200 ml soda water
  • 100 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 75 ml red vermouth
  • 30 ml gin
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  •  
  • Campari glacé oranges
  • 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar
  • 50 ml Campari
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced
01   For Campari sorbet, stir sugar and 300ml water in a saucepan 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.
02   For Campari glacé 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 oranges slices are tender and translucent (4-5 hours). Remove from heat and set aside in syrup until required. You can also make the glacé oranges a day or two in advance.
03   Preheat 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 (discard seeds), then purée in a food processor and transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs, melted butter and buttermilk, and stir to combine, then add flour, almond meal, sugar and baking powder, and combine well. Spoon mixture into two 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 spring 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.
04   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).
05   Spread chocolate cream over one cake, then spread with extra mascarpone, reserving some for the top. Place second cake on top, spread remaining mascarpone over, top with cooled glacé orange slices, drizzle with syrup and serve with Campari sorbet on the side.
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