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Chocolate Cake with Fresh Blood Orange, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt

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Chocolate Cake with Fresh Blood Orange, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt
Christina Soong-Kroeger

Do you like chocolate?

Of course you do!

Well, do you like a chocolate cake with a difference?

This chocolate cake is delightfully moist and not too sweet - it's the kind of chocolate cake you could eat happily ever day without feeling like you needed to go for a 5km run to compensate.

It's the decoration, though, that makes this chocolate cake exceptional and worthy of an appearance at a fancy dinner party or celebration party.

First, you drizzle a thin vanilla bean icing over the cake for a lovely edible detail. You then arrange fresh blood orange segments dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt on top.

It's so simple and yet so impressive.

Of course you could make and eat the cake without the additional details. It's more than fine just with a sprinkling of icing sugar over the top.

But for a little extra effort, why wouldn't you?

Go on, give it a go. You'll be glad you did.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 250 grams unsalted butter (2 1/4 sticks)
  • 1.5 cups caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or essence
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • Sea salt flakes

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced (350°F) with rack in middle of oven.
  2. Grease Bundt pan with cooking spray or butter and flour, knocking excess out.
  3. In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, tea and lemon zest.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugar on medium speed for about five minutes, or until pale and airy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever necessary with a silicon spatula.
  5. Add vanilla and beat for another minute.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  7. Add flour and milk to egg and butter mixture in two batches each, alternating between each.
  8. Pour batter evenly into the Bundt pan. Jiggle it around on the kitchen bench to even it out and reduce air bubbles.
  9. Bake for about an hour, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clear.
  10. Cool cake in pan for one hour, then invert onto a rack and cool for another hour, until it is completely cold.
  11. To make icing, whisk icing sugar with vanilla bean and half the milk.
  12. Continue whisking and add the rest of the milk if necessary. If should be quite thick, otherwise it will just run off the cake.
  13. Once cake is completely cool, drizzle glaze on top.
  14. To make orange garnish, line baking tray with baking paper.
  15. Peel blood oranges and remove pith.
  16. Segment carefully.
  17. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts until liquid.
  18. Dip half an orange into the chocolate and then jiggle up and down so that excess chocolate drops off.
  19. Lay straight onto baking paper and then sprinkle with salt flakes.
  20. Repeat until all orange segments are used up and then leave to set at room temperature for one hour.
  21. Once set, arrange on top of cake in spiral fashion.
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