Whenever I ask my nephew Dillon what flavor cake he wants, the answer is always the same: CHOCOLATE. This is a kid after my own heart. I love chocolate cake. Especially this recipe for devil's food cake, which is my favorite cake recipe ever.
With that said, my favorite recipe does have its' idiosyncrasies -- including a batter that is so thin that one initially thinks that the recipe is flawed (or that one did something wrong). But believe me, this chocolate orange cake makes my devil's food cake look quite ordinary.
This recipe was initially published by Nigella Lawson in 2004 and has surprisingly garnered very little attention on the blogosphere. The cake is actually a riff on a popular Separdic Passover cake, which uses boiled oranges and ground almonds, but does not contain fat or flour.
Most flourless chocolate cakes get their lift and structure from beaten eggs whites, which are incorporated into the batter at the very end. This step sounds easy enough on paper, but can be tricky to pull off properly -- as over mixing will quickly deflate the batter. Thankfully, this flourless recipe does not require any advanced baking skills. Rather, all one needs to do is boil, puree and mix.
The base of the cake is 2 boiled oranges, which are pureed in a food processor -- skin, pith and all. To this, one adds eggs, almond meal, cocoa and leavening. And that is it.
At this point, I am sure that you must shaking your head in disbelief -- especially over the peel and pith business. I certainly was. But somehow this hot mess pulls itself together and you end up with a dense and moist chocolate cake, which has lovely citrus and almond undertones.
I served the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar. But it would also be delicious with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. And of course, if you don't like chocolate, just leave the cocoa out of the batter and make the more traditional orange almond cake.
Whatever you do, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
The printable recipe is here.