Chocolate orange cakes

These cakes come from my book Citrus and Spice. Use a good quality dark chocolate such as Valrhona Caraibe. Makes 32 bite-sized cakes

115g dark chocolate

55g unsalted butter, diced

3 medium eggs, separated

finely grated zest of 2 large oranges

85g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

20g plain flour, sifted

For the icing

75g chocolate

60g softened unsalted butter

1 tablespoon icing sugar

For decoration

Zest of 2 oranges, finely julienned


Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.   Lay out 32 mini paper cake cases on a baking tray.


Break the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl that will neatly fit over a pan.   Half fill the saucepan with just boiled water, but leave off the heat.   The chocolate will gently melt.   If necessary, replace the water with fresh just boiled water.   Once the chocolate is nearly melted add the butter and stir until it has melted.   Remove from the pan of hot water.


Whisk the egg yolks with the orange zest, sugar and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy.   Then whisk in the warm chocolate mixture.   Using a metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour.   Immediately whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl until they form soft peaks and fold them into the chocolate mixture.


Using a teaspoon, divide the mixture equally between the 32 paper cases and bake in the centre of the oven for about 8 minutes.   The cakes should be risen but still moist inside. You need a little bit of goo inside when you test with a knife.   Transfer to a cooling rack and leave until cold.


To make the chocolate butter icing, melt the chocolate as above over a pan of just boiled water. Meanwhile, using an electric whisk beat the butter and icing sugar until fluffy, then whisk in the tepid melted chocolate. As soon as the cool icing hold its shape, spread on to the cakes with a knife.   Chill until set, then decorate with a few fine strands of orange zest or some gold leaf.


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