Chocolate and orange cake

Chocolate orange cake

It might look impressive, but Marlene van der Westhuizen swears this cake recipe couldn’t be easier. “As I’m a notoriously ungifted pastry chef, sharing a home full of sweet-toothed men has made it necessary for me to have a couple of really simple cake recipes to fall back on,” says the author. The recipe comes from Marlene’s new book, Secrets of a French Cooking Class.

Serves: 8 people

Cooking time: 40 minutes


2 oranges
125 g dark chocolate, broken into bits
300 g caster sugar
250 g unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 t vanilla paste
200 g flour
1 t baking powder
icing sugar
2 T cocoa


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Zest both of the oranges and then juice them. Melt the chocolate over a low heat in a double boiler and whisk half of the orange juice into it. Cool the mixture slightly.

Beat 200 g sugar and the butter together in a food processor until the mixture is really light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and whip very well. Add the zest of one of the oranges and the vanilla. Stir in the melted chocolate.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the chocolate mixture and gently fold the ingredients together.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 25 cm baking tin.

Bake the cake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Pour the remaining orange juice and zest into a small pan and melt the rest of the caster sugar in it to make a thin syrup. Remove from the heat.

Let the cake cool down slightly in the tin before turning it onto a cooling rack. While it is still warm, spoon the orange syrup and caramelised zest over the cake.

When the cake has cooled, dust with icing sugar and cocoa before serving. Recipe from Marlene van der Westhuizen’s Secrets of a French Cooking Class, published by Bookstorm.



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