This is a special farewell and birthday cake all rolled into one. The post-doc in our lab is leaving after 6 years and another labmate was celebrating the big 3-0 birthday, so the cake had to be special. Chocolate and Orange pair wonderfully; infact, it is my mother’s favorite and incorporated it into her birthday cake last year. The recipe requires several ingredients, but I used store-bought short-cuts to help me. I hope this cake stuns your table as much it did mine !
Store chocolate cake mix (and eggs and oil, all the things that you will need to make the batter)
Chocolate mousse mix and milk to make the mousse
2 dozen soft lady fingers ( you will not need all of them, but having extras is good)
Bake the cake according to the package directions. I used some of the batter to make 6 cupcakes and saved the rest of the batter to make 2, 9″ rounds. Allow to cool completely. The cake layers can be made upto three days in advance. Make sure to wrap and store the layers in a cool dry and dark place.
Heat an entire jar of orange marmalade in a saucepan. Once the jam thins, strain through a sieve to separate the rinds from the jelly. Save the jelly. I put the rinds in my morning oatmeal.
Make the chocolate mouse according to package directions.
Level off both cake layers and place one layer of the cake on the bottom of a springform pan.
Line the edges of the pan with lady fingers
Brush the surface of the cake with the orange jelly and also the surface of the lady fingers which are exposed (i.e facing the inside of the cake)
Fill with mousse and top with the second cake layer.
Pour the remaining orange jelly on the top layer and let it seep into the cake.
Add the cannoli filling on the top.
Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips and pistachios.
Chill the cake for 30 mins and then remove the springform ring.
Wrap the cake with a piece of ribbon and secure with a toothpick.
Serve chilled !