You can definitely say I’m going through an orange phase. With so many juicy oranges and mandarins this season, it’s hard to resist not experimenting with these lovely citrus fruits.
I wanted to make a really “orangey” orange cake. One that doesn’t just have the aroma of orange zest but a more substantial, intense orange flavour. So I boiled a whole orange. Although I must admit, I was a bit worried the cake could be too dense. A little baking soda takes care of that and the result is an incredible cake, slightly more dense but incredibly moist, with such an intense orange flavour.
Orange and chocolate is a match made in heaven and this cake screams for some dark chocolate chunks. You can use any chocolate you fancy, milk or plain, but I believe dark chocolate enhances the flavor of this cake. I chose a favourite of mine, Lindt dark with a touch of sea salt. I cut it in small pieces and added it to the batter. You can of course, use store-bought chocolate chips for ease. But I do believe, when using chocolate in cakes, it must be one you love to eat plain.
- 1 large orange or 2 small ones
- 250 grams unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups plain flour plus 2 tsp extra
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ½ cup dark chocolate chunks (I used 1 x 100 grams bar “Lindt Excellence – A touch of sea salt”)
Wash orange and put it in a saucepan. Cover it with water and bring to boil over high heat. Cook orange for one hour, adding a bit of water if it evaporates. The orange will rise to the surface as it boils so it may not be submerged in water the whole time, but that’s ok. Drain water from pot and add some cold water to help orange cool. When orange is cool enough to handle, slice it in half and remove any pits. Squeeze orange with your hand to extract the liquid. What you need is only the solids, the pulp and flesh. The liquid looses its orange flavor after boiling so discard it. Put the pulp and flesh in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. It should look like a paste. Measure the paste, you will need ¾ cup. If you have more discard it, if you have a little less it’s ok.
Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter and flour a 23 cm cake pan with a hole in the middle
Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time beating very well after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract. Add the orange paste and the sour cream. Beta until combined (mixture may look curdled and that’s ok).
In a large bowl sift together the 2 ½ cups flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Lower the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until all flour is moistened and combined. Don’t over beat.
Put chocolate chunks or chips in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of water or orange flavoured liqueur and mix with a spoon to moisten. Add 2 tsp flour and mix again. Fold chocolate chips in the cake batter with a spatula to distribute evenly.
Put batter in the prepared cake pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes. Invert on a platter. Cool cake completely before slicing and serving.