Calling all chocaholics! If you love the chocolate orange combination you must give this rich flourless chocolate orange cake a try! It's so simple and delivers such a wonderfully textured cake. It is great made ahead of time and uses three whole oranges or tangelos! I called her Alani.
This is a chocolate orange version of the famous Claudia Roden Middle Eastern Orange cake. The texture of this cake is incredible and super moist thanks to the addition of whole boiled oranges that are blended up into the cake. Valentina gave me some tangelos and oranges and I wanted to make a cake out of them. But then I thought what if I made a chocolate version of this cake? How would that go? It turns out, it is AMAZING!
Tips for Making This Chocolate Orange Flourless Cake
1 - You can use any citrus really: tangelos, mandarins, oranges all work beautifully in this. Even lemons and grapefruit will be tasty in this although they will obviously be less sweet.
2 - The cake itself is really easy but the most time consuming thing is boiling the oranges. You can either boil the oranges on the stovetop or cook them in the microwave. It takes at least an hour on the stovetop (depending on the size of your oranges) and you will have to keep topping up the water if it runs low. Cutting them in half hastens the process too. Or just cook them in the microwave where it will take around 20 minutes. You want them soft enough that you can chop them up with a butter knife.
3 - I prefer to use commercially made almond meal. Home made almond meal never gets quite fine enough, even in the Thermomix. You want it superfine so that the cake doesn't have a crumbly texture - there is no flour in this there are no gluten proteins to bind the cake together.
4 - You can leave this cake unadorned or sift a little flour over it but I love the chocolate butter ganache frosting just to give it that little bit extra.
I try to match my cakes to occasions and to the friends who like the flavours and I was all set to bring this chocolate orange cake to dinner at Sammie and David's but then she mentioned that she wasn't a fan of chocolate cake so I switched the plan and brought a pear tarte tatin instead. She was also making a birthday cake for me and while I like the idea of two types of cakes as much as the next person I figured a pastry and a cake were probably a better idea.
That evening we were at Sammie and David's house admiring the view of the sunset. They have 180 degree views of the Sydney skyline and the Harbour Bridge to the left. The clear winter evening projected a beautiful sunset that turned from a glowy orange to a deep, dark blood red. It was spectacular and clear and we were helping ourselves to the cheese plate when Mr NQN said.
"Did I just see... errr bread falling past the window?" he said.
Indeed he did. It turns out that a woman in their apartment block had taken to throwing down stale bread. "I think she has worked her way through the bakery selection," said Sammie. Sometimes it was a slice of bread, something donuts, sometimes a bun. And considering that it was coming from the 30th floor it was actually quite a missile. What started off as somewhat amusing and very bewildering had turned into a serious menace.
David explained that a couple of nights prior he was out taking Teddy Roo for his late night wee and he heard this thud from behind him and Teddy barked. It sounded as though a basketball was bounced on a hard asphalt. He peered closer and there lay a wholemeal bun on the ground. They had narrowed it down to the apartment number but there were communication issues and her penchant for hurling baked projectiles remained unabated. I was worried that little Teddy Roo would end up hurt, bopped unconscious (or worse!) by an errant bap. I wanted nothing more than to bang on the bread bomber's door and confiscate her baked goods in case precious Teddy Roo got hurt. When I said this David laughed and said, "Thanks for your concern about me!".
So tell me Dear Reader, what would you do if you were in the same building as the bread bomber? Do you like the chocolate orange combo?
RICH Chocolate Orange Flourless Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3 oranges or tangelos (around 600g/21ozs)
- 375g/13.ozs. almond meal
- 375g/13ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup/60g/2ozs. cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 7 eggs, room temperature beaten
- 300g/10.6ozs dark chocolate, melted
For Chocolate Butter Ganache Frosting
- 90ml/3flozs. cream
- 170g/6ozs. dark chocolate chips
- 50g/1.7ozs butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
Step 1 - Line the base and sides of a 20cm/8inch springform pan and preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Step 2 -Poke the oranges all over with a sharp knife and place the oranges in a large microwave proof bowl. Add enough water to cover the oranges, cover the bowl with cling film and heat on 100% heat for 20 minutes until the oranges are soft. You can also do this on the stovetop but it takes around 2 hours to do this and you will need to keep topping up the water. Drain the water and cool enough to handle. Remove the peduncle (where the stem connects to the fruit) and chop the flesh and skin roughly and remove seeds if any. You can do this step a day or two ahead of time keeping the oranges in the fridge.
Step 3 -In a food processor add the almond meal, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder and process to combine. Add the eggs and chopped oranges and blend until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined. Scoop into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until the centre springs back when gently pressed.
Thermomix: place the almonds, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder and set to 10 seconds speed #5. Add the eggs and oranges and set to 30 seconds speed #5. Add the melted chocolate and set to 15 seconds speed #4. Scoop into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until the centre springs back when gently pressed.
Step 4 -To make the frosting place the cream in a large glass jug and microwave for 30-40 seconds or until bubbling. Add the chocolate chips and cover with a plate and let rest for 30 seconds. Then stir the chocolate and add the butter to form a smooth frosting. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes until still liquid but thicker in texture and then pour over the cake.