Winter decadence: whole chocolate-orange cake

"Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love."

― Karl Petzke

Add a touch of choc luxury to your winter with this favourite recipe from BOOKPLATE baker Susanna. For extra decadence, pair with a glass of late-harvest dessert wine or a top-notch shiraz.



  • 2 small (400g) oranges

  • 125g butter, melted

  • 1 cup milk

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted

  • ½ cup cocoa powder

  • 1 cup caster sugar

  • 1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)

Orange Syrup

  • 2 oranges

  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar


  • 250mL pouring cream

  • 400g cooking chocolate


Prep and bake the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.

  2. Place oranges in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and drain. Return to saucepan, repeating the process. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

  3. Roughly chop the oranges, and remove and discard the seeds. Process oranges in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

  4. Add butter, milk, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, sugar and almond meal to the orange and stir until combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in cake comes out clean.

  6. Stand cake in pan for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack over a tray to cool.

Make the syrup

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from 1 orange. Use a small sharp knife to remove white pith and cut rind into very thin strips.

  2. Juice the oranges.

  3. Combine orange juice, rind, sugar and cloves in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves.

  4. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until mixture becomes syrupy, occasionally brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.

  5. Pour over warm cake, then set aside to cool completely.

Make your ganache and assemble cake

  1. Heat cream in a saucepan until it comes to the boil.

  2. Remove cream from heat, add the chocolate and sit, covered, for 5 minutes so the chocolate can melt.

  3. Stir ganache until thoroughly mixed, then drizzle over cooled cake.

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