Thomasina Miers’ recipe for chocolate orange truffle cake
Cooking at Christmas can be daunting. If you’re catering for a crowd, there are likes, dislikes and allergies to navigate, as well as a perennial lack of time. This week’s recipe is a pudding you can make a few days ahead and appeals even to the anti-Christmas brigade. The two oranges in the base make it light, but it has intensely chocolatey top, and it is even gluten-free.
Chocolate orange truffle cake
A layered cake of citrussy zing and chocolate truffle ganache.
Prep 15 min
Cook 45 min
Chill 4 hr
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder (gluten free if needed)
Candied orange, to top (optional)
For the torte
300g dark chocolate, plus extra to shave (optional)
3 tbsp liquid glucose
3 tbsp Cointreau, Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
400ml double cream
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the oranges in a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes to remove the bitterness from the pith. While these are cooking, line a 22cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper and cover the outside with foil to stop any leaks.
Once the oranges have simmered, take them out of the water, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and put in a food processor with the caster sugar, almonds and baking powder. Whizz for a minute, add the eggs and process for a minute longer – a few lumps are OK. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 12-14 minutes, until pale golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, break up the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl resting above (but not touching) a pan of barely simmering water. Add the liquid glucose and orange liqueur, and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, set aside.
Beat the cream until it has slightly thickened (but not so it’s stiff), fold half of this into the slightly cooled chocolate, mix gently, then fold that back into the remaining cream. Pour the mixture over the sponge, tap the tin gently to even out the filling, or use a palate knife, and refrigerate for at least four hours.
To serve, run a hot palette knife around the torte and loosen. Transfer to a plate and decorate with shaved chocolate, or candied orange.
And for the rest of the week
Any remaining chocolate cream is great for ice-cream – my favourite at this time of year is caramelised brown bread ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce.
Fiona Beckett’s wine suggestion
“This cake is pretty decadent as it is, but you could always sneak an extra shot of Cointreau or Grand Marnier (both widely available) – whatever you use to make the cake.”
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