My little hearts breaks when I remember this cake is gone, we ate the whole thing in less than two days (and it was a quite big cake) and now that I'm looking at the pictures again I just can't stop thinking about how incredibly delicious it was. I baked this orange cake to celebrate my dad's birthday last week and I think it's one of his most favorite cakes ever and honestly mine too, it kind of surprised me that a more 'simple' cake, compared to some fancy-looking layer cakes I made in the past, could have everything I want in a cake: moisture, softness, creaminess, amazing flavor, perfect citrus-deep dark chocolate contrast and it takes so little time to prep!
The recipe is an slightly adapted version from Fran Costigan's cookbook 'Vegan Chocolate', I've written about this book before but let me tell you again that it's one of my favorites and I say it simply because I love it, and just in case some may be thinking about it, nope, I bought the book myself and no one paid me for talking about it so many times. I simply love it, all this praise is sincere cause Ms. Costigan is my vegan hero!
Next time you visit your local farmers' market go grab a big bag of organic oranges and treat yourself with this gorgeous cake, it's hands down one of the best I've ever made and I'm already thinking about doing different versions with lemon and adding cocoa powder to the batter to make a super chocolaty cake.
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Receta en español aquí!
Orange Almond Cake with Dark Chocolate Orange Glaze
Recipe adapted from Fran Costigan's 'Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetic Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts').
(Makes one 21 cm/8 1/2-inch cake)
- For the cake:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour.
3/4 cup whole cane sugar.
1 teaspoon baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/4 teaspoon baking powder.
1/2 cup almond meal.
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice.
1/3 cup arbequina olive oil.
3 drops organic orange essential oil.
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
- For the Chocolate Orange Glaze:
2 drops organic orange essential oil.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice.
100 g (3 1/2 ounces approx.) dark chocolate (70-72 %), chopped.
2 teaspoons olive oil.
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt.
35 g (1,23 ounces) roasted Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped.
Coconut oil and salt to roast the almonds.
Preheat oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF), grease the cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl sift together the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Add in 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the almond meal and stir with a wire whisk to combine the ingredients.
In a separate medium bowl, vigorously whisk the orange juice, olive oil, essential oil, vinegar and vanilla extract until completely combined.
Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour are visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap it lightly on the counter to get rid of some air bubbles.
Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool completely. Remove from the pan and, with the bottom side up, sprinkle the remaining almond meal all over the surface and press it lightly with your hands so it adheres well. Since this cake is quite moist and creamy the layer of almond meal will help prevent the bottom of the cake stick to the plate.
Invert the cake and set aside while you make the ganache. Be careful when handling this cake as it is super tender and a tad bit delicate.
- To make the dark chocolate orange glaze:
Place the orange juice, essential oil and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan with hot water (or use a double boiler). Cook on low heat until the chocolate is almost completly melted.
Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil, vanilla and salt; it will look glossy and pourable. Let it cool for 10 minutes approximately so it thickens a bit.
- To assemble the cake:
Grease a frying pan with coconut oil and roast the almonds until golden brown. Sprinkle with a bit of salt while they are still warm. Once cooled, roughly chop the almonds.
Drizzle the chocolate orange glaze on top of the cake and sprinkle with the marcona almonds.
Store the cake covered in the refrigerator but serve at room temperature.