When it comes to chocolate cakes, I belong to the rich & dark camp. My favourite kind of chocolate cake is one made wholly with high percentage dark chocolate, but without the dense structure of say a mud cake, I prefer a light soufflé texture almost to juxtapose with the deep, adult flavour.
I’ve been making a particular chocolate fallen cake for years, which I’m still in love with and tastes even better chilled when it becomes denser. Today I made it slightly differently, in the form of a chiffon cake with orange undercurrents from the orange zest, juice and diced peel which help cut through the sophisticated yet generally bitter chocolate.
Since I had just enough leftover lemon buttercream, I sandwiched it in the middle to further enhance the citrus flavour which in my opinion, is a perfect marriage with the chocolate.
chocolate orange chiffon cake
40g dark chocolate (approx. 70%)
38g heavy cream
3 egg yolks
36g mild-flavoured vegetable oil
juice of 1/2 an orange + plain yogurt = 60g
33g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar/drop of lemon juice (optional)
small handful of diced candied orange peel, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C and line the bottom of a cake tin if it isn’t loose-bottomed, without greasing the tin at all. Coat the orange peel with about a tablespoon of the flour in the recipe.
Melt the chocolate with the cream under gentle heat (bain marie/water bath/microwave on low power) and set aside to cool slightly. Beat the yolks with half the amount of sugar until the sugar granules dissolve and the mixture thickens and pales in colour. Slowly stream in the oil while whisking to emulsify. Add the cooled but still liquid chocolate cream into the yolk mixture, followed by the juice and yogurt. Sift in all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
To make the meringue, start whisking the whites on medium speed, then increase the speed as bubbles start to foam. Add the cream of tartar/lemon juice if using, and the remaining half of sugar a little at a time. Continue whisking until medium-stiff peak is reached.
Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk batter to incorporate, followed by orange peel and the rest of the meringue in batches. Pour into the tin, smooth the top and bake for approx. 30-40 minutes until the top bounces back when pressed.