Citrus-Sational! Dive into this Moist Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

Rich, dense, moist and chocolately this chocolate orange cake is perfect for winter! With a deliciously chocolatey base and a rich chocolate buttercream on top and some segments of chocolate orange, this is easy to whip up (Thermomix instructions provided) and even easier to eat. This is a pushy recipe if you love the chocolate orange combo!

Valentina recently gifted me a big bag of her lovely home-grown citrus. It was a mix of oranges, vivid orange tangelos and lemons. We juiced a lot of the oranges and tangelos but I wanted to make a cake using the oranges. Winter calls for the richness of chocolate for comfort so I decided to make it a chocolate orange cake. I've already made a few chocolate orange desserts already including this flourless chocolate orange cake, a chocolate orange mousse cake, a choc orange trifle. I've even got a white chocolate and orange slice too (a really underrated flavour combo IMHO)! Many years ago I used to dislike chocolate orange but now I like really like the combo.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Why does one orange go mouldy while the others are ok? This used to drive me crazy! It was like suddenly one orange said, "Screw it, I'm outta here" and imploded in a dusty green shroud of mould. I used to think that you were supposed to keep your citrus at room temperature and this is fine if you want to eat it within a few days but humidity is what causes oranges to become suddenly mouldy (Sydney is a humid city too). So store your citrus in the fridge crisper with air circulating around them (you've probably noticed it's always the orange right at the bottom that does this) where they'll be happy for a few weeks!

Can I freeze this cake? Yes! This cake freezes really well and you can freeze this iced too. I place it in the freezer uncovered so that the icing sets hard and frozen. Then I wrap it in parchment and then foil. It will keep for 1-2 months.

Chocolate Orange Cake

I made this cake a few weeks ago and then froze it for Mr NQN's birthday party. He was having a shared birthday party with his brother Manu and the night before we were supposed to meet up, I defrosted the cake on the kitchen counter. I booked a table at a pub for the party as we have now shifted birthday parties from picnics to pubs. As the main cook in the household I'm very happy about this change. Pubs are easier, I don't need to prepare a lot of food, there's no squabbling about ordering food because everyone just goes and gets their own and we can bring our four legged boys and everyone else can bring their kids and it doesn't matter how noisy any of them are (well within reason of course).

Chocolate Orange Cake

It's funny how families change over the years. 5 years ago most of Mr NQN's family lived on the Northern Beaches while my family were in the East. His family has now mostly moved Inner West and Central Coast while my family are in Singapore. Nowadays instead of meeting on the Northern Beaches we congregate in the Inner City and Inner West.

A few of Mr NQN's siblings have also changed their eating habits. Now Mr NQN's sister Araluen eats all types of meat while the strictest vegan Manu now eats eggs and dairy. Araluen said that she started craving meat and feels better now that she eats it while Manu said that he also feels better having a less restrictive diet. He had some health issues a few years ago that he tried healing with a vegan diet but did much the opposite and he found that incorporating more foods into his diet helped more.

Chocolate Orange Cake

The only person in the Elliott family that haven't changed much is Tuulikki, Mr NQN's mother. She lives in the same apartment on the Northern Beaches and she still insists on having the birthday picnic. She's also the only remaining vegan in the family and I don't think she will ever change!

So tell me Dear Reader, has your family changed much in the last 5 years? Do you think people can change much over time? Do you like chocolate and orange as a combo?

Chocolate Orange Cake

Chocolate Orange Cake

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • 150g/5ozs butter, chopped
  • 465g/1lb dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup/275g/9.7ozs brown sugar
  • 75g/2.65flozs plain all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 150g/5ozs almond meal
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest

For Rich Chocolate Orange Buttercream

  • 200g/7ozs butter, softened
  • 360g/12.7ozs icing or powdered sugar, sifted
  • 60g/2ozs cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40ml/1.4flozs milk

To decorate:

  • Chocolate orange slices
  • Thin strips of citrus zest

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F fan forced and line a 27.2×17.7×5cm/11x7x2inch rectangular tin with baking parchment on the base and sides. Place the butter and chocolate in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water ensuring that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. You can also microwave the chocolate and butter in a microwave proof bowl in 60 second 50% power bursts. Heat until the mixture is smooth with no lumps.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Step 2 - Once melted, add the sugar, flour, orange juice, almond meal and zest and whisk to combine. Whisk in eggs one at a time incorporating well. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the inside is set and not wobbly. Cool in the tin on a cake rack.

Thermomix directions cake: Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl and set to 5 minutes, 75C, speed #2. Add the sugar, flour, orange juice, almond meal, zest and eggs and set to 10-15 seconds, speed #4 or until mixed. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or until or until the inside is set and not wobbling. Cool in the tin on a cake rack.

Step 3 -Meanwhile make the chocolate buttercream. Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment. Beat until the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sifted icing sugar, sifted cocoa powder, salt and zest.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Thermomix directions chocolate buttercream: Place the icing sugar and cocoa powder in Thermomix bowl and set to 10 seconds, speed #9. Add the butter, zest and salt and set to 2 minutes, speed #3. Scrape down the sides and add the milk and set to 2 minutes, speed #3.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Step 4 - When the cake has cooled, spread the buttercream over the top of the cake and make swirls using a palette knife. Place chocolate orange slices and thin strips of citrus zest.

Chocolate Orange Cake

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