Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache
Recipe From What's For Lunch, Honey?
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast – Chocolate Orange Cake
For chocolate orange cake
2 small oranges, total weight – 375g
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g ground hazelnuts
250g fine granulated sugar
50g dark cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
For salted caramel ganache
75g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
75g milk chocolate, chopped
200g heavy cream
large pinch of Fleur de Sel
In a pot place the whole oranges and top off with just enough water to almost cover the oranges. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for approx. 2 hours until soft and tender.
Drain and cool. Cut the oranges in half removing any large pips. Then put the entire oranges (peel and all), in a food processor and whizz to a pulp. Set aside to cool or alternatively place in the refrigerator overnight.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter and line a 20cm springform baking form.
Add all of the remaining cake ingredients – eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, hazelnuts, sugar, cardamom, cocoa powder and the orange pulp – in the food processor and whizz until you have a smooth and creamy texture. There will still be bits of puréed orange in the batter.
Pour and scrape the cake mixture into the prepared form and bake of approx. 45 to 60 minutes. If you notice the top of the cake beginning to darken too quickly, then cover with some aluminum foil to prevent it burning before the cake has cooked through. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is ready to be taken out.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the form, on a cooling rack.
To make the salted caramel ganache, place sugar in a pan and make a dry caramel, by allowing the sugar to melt and take on an amber color. Do not mix the caramel, instead gently swirl from time to time to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Place both types of chocolate in a bowl and place a sieve over the top. Set aside.
Once the caramel has reached the desired color, pour in the cream, slowly and whisking gently. The caramel will sputter and bubble once you pour in the cream so, be careful and stand away from the pan. Continue to whisk until incorporated and smooth.
Pour the caramel through the sieve over the chocolate. With a wooden spoon gently stir the mixture until the caramel melts the chocolate, then add butter and continue to whisk. Add the fleur de sel. The mixture will begin to thicken as it cools down but be careful not to over-whisk the ganache as it may separate if it is handled too much. Allow to cool completely.
Using a metal offset spatula spread the salted caramel ganache on top of the chocolate orange cake and frost the cake, swirling and peaking into whatever pattern you like. Refrigerate to set the ganache.
Tip: Prepare and purée the oranges a day ahead, because the day you bake the cake all you need to do is literally dump all the cake ingredients into the food processor and whizz: The easiest cake in the world!
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