Intense and aromatic, super-charged with citrus zest and studded with dark choc chips, this Orange and Chocolate Cake is grain and gluten free. It’s a winner. Fancy it up for a special occasion by dousing it with a sticky orange syrup. It serves 12. But if there’s only 6 of you, everyone gets seconds.
Orange and Chocolate Cake, Serves 12
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Orange and Chocolate, what is it about them? Put together, they’re enticing and curious flavours. They both have a bitter quality to them, but within a sweet context, they’re exquisite.
Growing up, we loved “Jaffa’s” – milk chocolate balls covered with orange icing. They were classic sweets of the Drive In Theatre, and later, the cinema. Do they still exist? Probably. Then came those Chocolate Oranges, whose individual crescents flowered open and were so tempting… but sickly after two. And then came Lindt, with real orange zest perfectly hidden in their luxurious dark chocolate blend… but even that, too much sugar now, for my taste.
Every now and again, I ‘ll come across handcrafted strips of crystallized orange zest lovingly coated in rich couverture. Hard to resist – I usually give in, and halfway through the first strip I’m left with that usual sense of disappointment: too sweet. Too refined-sugar sickly.
The beauty of this Paleo Orange and Chocolate Cake, is that it’s… well, cake, for one. And sometimes you want that texture and mass that only a cake or a muffin can provide. But, seriously, the quality which we love – like all my ‘”Sweets and Treats” – is that it’s simply not too sweet. The lack of white, refined sugar allows the important flavours to intensify and stand out.
You want to use good quality dark chocolate – I use a 100 gram block of Lindt, 85% minimum cacao, chopped into small shards with a chef’s knife. And you need firm, full oranges. It’s the essential oils from the rind and the tartness of the juice which make this cake great.
Make the syrup if you have time, and especially if you want to serve it with whipped dairy cream or thick coconut cream as a dessert. But if you don’t have time, it’s good without. I’d say, as far as Orange and Chocolate Cake recipes go, this one’s worth printing out. All the more so because it’s gluten free, grain free, totally Paleo.
More Irresistable Paleo Treats
Homemade Baci, Hazelnut Kisses – Just 4 Ingredients! With whole hazelnuts and a dark chocolate top hat – much better than the ones you buy.
Chocolate, Almond and Hazelnut Torte – One of my favourtie “I’ll bring dessert” cakes.
Citrus and Coconut Poppyseed Cake – Beautiful. Just lovely. And with that sticky orange syrup that really turns it into a treat.
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Orange and Chocolate Cake – Paleo, Gluten Free
1 large orange (about 250 grams)
100 grams Lindt dark chocolate, minimum 85% cacao
1 cup / 150 grams / ounces almonds
150 grams cassava flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
150 grams butter
1/3 cup muscovado sugar
Optional Orange Syrup: 1 large orange, 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
- Using a fine vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange, making sure no white pith remains. Mince into very small pieces – I use a half moon knife.
- Juice the orange, and add enough water to make 1/2 cup.
- Crack the block of chocolate into very small pieces, ‘slicing’ it with a chef’s knife.
- Crack the eggs into a small pouring jug and beat lightly with a fork.
- Grind the almonds to flour in a spice grinder.
- Add the ground almonds, cassava flour and baking powder to a bowl and mix to combine.
- Chop the butter into chunks and place in the food processor along with the muscovado sugar. Process on a low speed until well creamed. Then, add the flour in lots with the egg. Add the orange zest, and then the orange juice.
- Remove the blade from the processor, add the chocolate pieces and fold through.
- Pour the batter into a 20cm round bundt tin. Smooth the top.
- Bake at 180°C / 350°F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.
- Optional Orange Syrup: Using a citrus zester, remove the zest from the second orange in fine strips. Juice the orange and add enough water to make 1/2 cup. Place the zest, juice and 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat until the juice has reduced by half and has thickened. Spoon the warm syrup over the cake, allowing it to seep in.