December 12, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake

I promised you chocolate, didn't I? Sorry it had to get bumped a day but Christmas preparations reared their ugly head yesterday and I had to make an emergency trip to civilization to pick something up before it sold out. Combine that with our usual round of after school speech therapy, homework, piano practice, etc. and I was one tired Mama last night. I don't know about you, but sometimes the amount of effort it takes to make the holidays magical for the boys sure takes the magic out of it for us grownups. By the end of the day, I was ready to snuggle in with a warm drink, a good book (Cuckoo's Calling) and a piece of this chocolate cake out of the freezer.

I first made this cake verbatim from Nigella Kitchen a few years ago for my husbands birthday and it was all I wanted it to be. Relatively quick, delicious and event worthy. So I continued to make every now and then without fiddling with the recipe much. When Thanksgiving rolled around this year, I decided we needed a second dessert to balance out the Apple Pie, and my husband suggested chocolate. I knew I couldn't commit to the extra time needed for frosting and making a big layer cake like I did for Christmas last year, and finally I remembered this cake.

Of course we didn't have a lime in the house and there was no way I was going to Walmart the day before Thanksgiving! Not a chance. We did have oranges though, and I remembered a friend raving about a chocolate-orange loaf cake she had made a while back…and really, what good is having family around if you can't force them to be guinea pigs for your culinary experiments?

I love the orange flavor in this much more than the lime. It retained the same rich and decadent flavor and the same slightly gooey center but the orange notes really make it feel special. The original recipe calls for a flavored whipped cream on top, but I prefer it with a big scoop of ice cream. It was the perfect end to an already over the top meal, and it also just happens to be the perfect snack out of the fridge or freezer after a long day. There's a good reason that every episode of Nigella's TV series ends with her sneaking into the kitchen for leftovers after everyone else has gone to bed!

Linking up with The SITS Girls Saturday Sharefest! Lots of great links to check out :)

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake
adapted from Nigella Kitchen

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 eggs
1 1/4 cup superfine sugar (if you can't find this, just put regular sugar into the food processor for a few seconds)
1 cup almond meal or flour
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
zest and juice of one small orange
confectioner's sugar to dust the top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and coat bottom and sides with non-stick spray or butter.

In a metal or glass bowl set on top of a small saucepan filled with boiling water, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring regularly. Set aside to cool a little.

With a mixer (standing or hand-held), beat the eggs and sugar until they triple in size. In another bowl, mix the almond flour and cocoa powder together and then fold into the egg mixture. Once combined, fold in the melted chocolate and butter, and then the orange zest and juice.

Pour into the pan, and bake for 40-45 minutes. It will be firm and crust-like on the top, but underneath it will still be gooey in the center. Cool on a wire rack, and after about 5 minutes drape a clean tea towel over it to prevent the crust from getting too crunchy. You want it to crack a little though, so don't panic.

Dust with confectioner's sugar once it is totally cooled and serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you wish.


  1. Saving this recipe. Going grain-free for the holidays is ROUGH, good to know I can still indulge!

  2. Looks delicious. Did the original recipe call for almond meal/flour?

  3. It did! Although the very first time I tried it I used all purpose flour (shh! don't tell. I had no idea what I was doing!) and it came out ok…not great, but ok :) It's MUCH better the way Nigella intended!

  4. Lovely! Looks like a winner and it's a recipe I've been wanting to try for some time.

  5. Thank you! I love how versatile it is. I've made it for parties or big gatherings as well as Sunday dinner with family. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I guess I need to track down some almond flour, then :)


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