Happy New Year everyone! I hope today is not being spent with your head in a toilet and y’all had a cracking NYE. Me? I went to a super fun girly dinner party at one of my best and oldest girlfriend’s, and we DEVOURED this cake. Seriously. Between five of us, we managed to practically finish it. If that doesn’t tell you how delish it is, then I don’t know what will. Dense, dark, moist, seriously chocolatey and extremely orangey, this is one for the Terry Chocolate Orange lovers out there. I’d found myself craving chocolate orange over the past few months in Germany and I also think it’s quite a festive flavour combo, so just PERF for NYE. (Remember I made last year?) I adapted a BBC Good Food recipe – always reliable.
When my babe of a bezzie, Jessie, asked if one of us could bring a pudding to the table, I (obviously) pounced at the chance. It can be quite tricky to pick a dinner party pudding that can be made in advance and easily transported – sometimes cakes seem too ‘afternoon tea-y’, and warm puds usually need to be baked there – but this chocolate orange feast is certainly sufficiently puddingy and easy to make ahead. You could even warm the slices and have a squidgy brownie-ish slice of heaven. Bursting with real orange flavour, rich melted chocolate and stuffed with chocolate orange chunks, this cake is absolutely exploding with chocolatey orangey goodness. As you use A WHOLE ORANGE actually IN the cake, you get a really amazing orange flavour, not to mention a fab moist texture. This fabulous crumb is further improved by ALL the chocolate orange chunks inside the cake – chopping them into small bits means they don’t sink to the bottom, but rather melt into the cake while it bakes, and then you don’t really notice pieces of chocolate but just get the most FABULOUS texture and flavour. Oh, and don’t worry, when I say you need a whole chocolate orange for this recipe, I’m obviously factoring in that you’ll eat a couple of pieces as you go. Duhh.
The diets start tomorrow, right..?
Ingredients – Cake:
100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
280g caster sugar
240ml sunflower oil
25g cocoa powder
250g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
¾ chocolate orange, chopped into small chunks
150g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
50g softened butter
100g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
A splash of milk
¼ chocolate orange, coarsely grated
1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook it in a pan of boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth and then let cool. (I tried to do this in a blender. I suggest you don’t.)
2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in springform round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on High, stirring after each minute. Let cool.
3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder and mix well. Fold in the chocolate orange chunks until evenly distributed and pour the cake batter into the tin.
4. Bake the cake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 40 minutes and cover with foil if the top seems to be browning too quickly.) Remove from the oven and carefully go round the sides of the tin with a knife. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Make the icing: melt the chocolate in the same way as before. Beat the butter until soft and light, and then gradually beat in the icing sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate and beat well, adding a drop of milk at a time until you have your desired consistency.
6. When the cake is totally cool, spread your icing generously on top with a palette knife and sprinkle with the grated chocolate orange. Gather your friends together and have a veritable FEAST!