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We're celebrating love all this month and what better way than with a chocolate cake bursting with the sweet and bitter flavour of in season blood oranges.

 

These ruby coloured jewels pair perfectly with chocolate in a cake with just 6 ingredients and just for good measure, gluten free.  To infuse the orange flavour, the oranges are boiled until plump and ready to burst with goodness and then puréed in your food processor. It might sound a little strange but the proof is really in the tasting.  Chocolate cake is made for sharing, cutting slightly too large slices off and enjoying whole-heartedly, just like love.  Enjoy!

 

  • 2 small blood oranges
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 6 eggs

Place your full unpeeled oranges into a pot of cold water and bring to the boil and cook for two hours, making sure to top up with water as needed.

Take the oranges out of the pot and preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180°C.  Butter the sides and and line the bottom of a 20cm springform cake tin.

Cut the oranges in half and take out any big pips.  Leave to cool for about 5-10 mins and then pop in your food processor (pith, peel and all!) and buzz for about 2-3 minutes until you have a purée like mixture.  It will have quite a bitter flavour, but don't worry!

Now add in your eggs and buzz for another minute.  Add in your sugar and baking soda, and give another buzz.  Finish by adding in your ground almonds and cocoa and buzz for another minute, it will be a runny cake batter mixture in the end.  

Pour into your cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes.  Cover with tinfoil at this stage and bake for another 5-15 minutes until a skewer comes out fairly clean.

Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before removing the springform sides and leave to cool fully before slicing.  This cake lasts very well for about 3 days.

You can top with orange zest, chocolate curls or candied orange slices.

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Bring the water and sugar to the boil for about 9 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Slice your oranges thinly and carefully lay flat in a single layer in a large shallow pan.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for about 45 minutes.  Drain and leave to dry on a rack with some parchment paper underneath to collect any syrup drops.  

You can also brush some of the warmed syrup into the cake once out of the oven for for an extra burst of orange.