Chocolate and citrus is decidedly up on the shelf with many others of my favourite flavour combinations – and this is a statement that I find to be quite polarising whenever I say it. I suppose orange and chocolate are just one of those things that knows no grey area; it’s a love or hate situation almost every time.
So anyway, it’s citrus season here in Queensland and I just love blood oranges. I rarely actually eat them (rather, I feed them to my kids), but I love popping them in cocktails and using them in cooking. The best part is slicing into their unassuming skin to find that beautiful crimson red inside – super exciting also when you have them mixed up with Navels – it’s like a lucky dip. And then, there’s the part where they just photograph so beautifully well.
The thing is though, my love affair with blood oranges is a tough one, as they are super hard to find here in Townsville. As soon as winter starts each year, I begin the hunt… but all too often it’s fruitless (see what I did there?). So when I happened to finally get my hands on some (I had given up after searching local farmers markets and specialty fruit shops for weeks, but then found some purely by accident while walking through the supermarket looking for something completely unrelated), I couldn’t resist the urge to create something inspired by the combination of chocolate and citrus.
So, enter this chocolate cake. It’s essentially my go-to chocolate cake recipe….it’s dark, fudgy, and has a silky texture with it’s tender, moist crumb (oil is the secret there) and the addition of sea salt deepens the chocolate flavour and sends it to giddy new heights. It can be dressed up or down, and really any flavour can be added to it…. I have made countless variations from Cherry Ripe, to choc mint, to chilli chocolate… and the best part is, it is really, really, really easy.
For the sake of simplicity, I made this one into a bundt cake – but you could just as easily make a layer cake, cupcakes or even bake it in a loaf tin… it’s just that versatile.
The cake is finished off with a gorgeous blood orange glaze that is simultaneously sweet and tangy – it lends itself really well to balance the dark, bittersweet chocolate (all while taking advantage of this beautiful fruit). Again, it’s really simple and made from just three ingredients… and the colour is just astounding. Perfect for a dinner party, you can make the cake ahead and then ten minutes before serving, whip up the glaze… it’s that easy. On the subject of dinner parties (or any occasion really), if you want to dress this cake up, I would recommend a garnish of blood orange wedges and fresh thyme…. then serve it all with a whipped cream infused with orange zest and a cheeky splash of Cointreu. YES.
That being said, now I wish I had saved this post for Valentine’s Day. But hey, we don’t need V-Day as an excuse to share something like this with someone you love (especially if they can’t resist a chocolate-orange combination too). Those ones are the best people.
Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Blood Orange Glaze
Dark, fudgy and moist chocolate cake meets sweet and tangy blood orange to make this memorable Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Blood Orange Glaze.
- For the cake:
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 3/4 cups plain flour
- ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa (see note)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons bi-carbonate soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the glaze:
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted well
- 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 180C (or 160C fan-forced). Grease a bundt (or other) cake tin well with olive oil or butter and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, bi-carb soda and eggs.
In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, water, milk, oil and vanilla.
Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the combined wet ingredients. Beat well to combine, approximately 5 minutes. The mixture will be quite runny.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, scraping clean the sides of the bowl.
Place the cake tin in oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted to the centre comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool before turning out onto a baking rack. Cover until ready to glaze and serve.
For the glaze:
When ready to serve (ensure cake has completely cooled), place icing sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and combine well.
Add blood orange juice small parts at a time until mixture reaches desired consistency and colour (see note).
Drizzle the glaze generously on top of the cake and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.
1. Dutch-processed cocoa is the way to go if you want a dark and fudge cake. You can use normal cocoa but you will find the cake to be paler in colour and far less rich. 2. Feel free to add more icing sugar and/or juice if you need to thin or thicken the mixture. It should be runny enough to be fluid, without being too liquid.