How to Make a Quick Citrus and Chocolate Dessert
This post written by our resident Farm Foodie – Debra Dubief
Oranges, Lemons, and Chocolate Take The Cake
If your family is anything like mine, it’s rare to have a Saturday night when we’re off the hook—weekends are always busy. But not long ago we found ourselves with an open Saturday night. Husband Foodie and I mentally prepared to collapse around a bunch of take-out boxes over the din of six teen-aged boys rallying around pizza and their favorite video game.
So when our neighboring friends invited us over for an impromptu dinner, we were thrilled to be able to escape for a while. We offered to bring a dessert, though I apologetically explained it would have to be from a bakery since there was no time to make dessert.
Wait just a minute… have I not written numerous Farm Foodie’s touting some fabulous treat that could be whipped up in no time? Isn’t that why I bought that beautiful cherry red stand mixer? In my recipe stack I soon stumbled on the perfect thing: a citrus, almond and olive oil cake that is easy and has always received raves, except I wanted something with a little chocolate and I knew my friends would too.
Citrus and chocolate would be great together, and as I scanned the recipe I was pretty sure it could hold up to the addition of chocolate. There were Cara Cara oranges and Meyer lemons in the fridge and an 80% cacao Madagascar chocolate bar in the cupboard. The cake went together every bit as easily as I had remembered and while it wasn’t fancy, I was happy to be taking something to our dinner in an old cake pan instead of a new bakery box.
Adapted from Orangette
- 1 small to medium flavorful orange (Cara Cara or Blood Oranges are wonderful)
- 1 lemon, preferably Meyer
- 6 ounces unsalted almonds (raw or dry roasted)
- 1 bittersweet chocolate bar, 2.6 to 3 ounces, broken (a few good pounds with a hammer while the bar is still wrapped takes care of this nicely)
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 4 large eggs, ideally at room temp
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 1/2 C sugar
- 2/3 C olive oil
- Confectioners’ sugar, optional
- Sorbet or Ice Cream for serving, optional
- Place orange and lemon in a saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and cool to touch. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan. Pre-heat oven to 350?F degrees, place almonds on an ungreased sheet pan in the middle rack and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes for raw almonds, 5-10 minutes for dry roasted. Cool completely. When cool, pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Set aside.
- Gently pulse chocolate pieces in food processor until they are about the size of small peas. Remove and set aside. Cut the lemon in half, scoop out and discard pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half, and discard the seeds. Put the lemon rind and orange halves in food processor and grind to a coarse paste. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.
- Combine eggs and salt in a mixing bowl, beat until foamy, gradually add sugar. Fold in flour mixture. Add citrus, almonds and olive oil and mix on low to incorporate. Do not over-mix. Gently fold in chocolate pieces.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired. The flavors will mellow and deepen as it sits.
- This version of an orange cake is quick and easy and a great way to use the delicious natural oils of fresh citrus at the height of the season. Bright, clean and light, this is the perfect cake for decadent breakfast with tea, coffee or with a light sorbet or vanilla ice cream for dessert. The flavor will deepen and mellow as it sits making it even better the next day.