Whenever I have a chocolate cake to bake, the most daunting task is to decide “which one?”. The term “chocolate cake” is obscure to say the least, especially when the chocolate can be combined with endless ingredients in endless combinations. From beetroot and zucchini to bananas and oranges, from buttermilk and malt, to Stout and Marnier, from candies and peels to walnuts and almonds, its a tough decision to choose “the one” every single time, more so because each one is more spectacular than the other. But then, that’s what makes it exciting at the same time.
But I never have to think twice about baking this cake. In fact, this is the cake I have to really keep myself off repeating as often as I want to. Its such a winner. Specially if you like oranges.
The richness of this cake betrays the easy preparation method. It is essentially a one-bowl-recipe with no all purpose flour or butter for that matter. Here the three main players are cocoa powder, almond meal and orange pulp. Use the best of each ingredient and what you get is the closest cake version of this, which by every means is my most favorite chocolate on this planet.
Chocolare Orange cake with Salted caramel ganache
(Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast – Chocolate Orange Cake)
Yields one 8 inches round, 2 inches tall cake
Chocolate orange cake:
2 small mandarin oranges, total weight ~375g
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g ground toasted almonds
250g brown sugar
50g dark cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Keep the whole oranges in a pot and cover with enough water. Boil until soft and tender, around 45 minutes.
• Drain and cool the oranges. Cut open into half and remove the seeds. Allow it to cool completely.
• Butter and line an 8 inches springform cake pan.
• Heat the oven to 180°C.
• In the bowl of a food processor, add the oranges and all of the remaining ingredients. Process until a smooth and creamy mixture is formed. The mixture will have tiny bits of orange pieces which will taste awesome once the cake is baked.
• Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, or till a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover the cake with an aluminium foil tent if it starts to brown too quickly.
• Cool the cake completely before frosting.
Salted caramel ganache:
75g dark chocolate, chopped
75g milk chocolate, chopped
large pinch of salt
• Chop both types of chocolates in a big bowl and place a metal sieve over it.
• Keep the sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and heat over a medium-high heat till the sugar starts melting. Do not add water. Swirl the pan in between for even caramelization.
• When caramel is of deep amber color, pour in the cream slowly and whisking gently till mixed evenly. Be careful as the mixture will splatter a lot.
• Pour the hot mixture through the sieve onto the chocolate. Mix with a spatula till chocolate melts into a shiny creamy glaze. Add salt and mix gently.
• Allow to cool completely before frosting the cake.
• Frost the cake as desired.