If there is one time in the year that the supermarket bakery isle gets some real action, its a christmas. Candied ginger, dried prunes, toasted almonds, its now that the miscellaneous dried fruit, like currents really earn their shelf space. Every year I ask myself the same question whilst shoppers load their trollies high with pies and christmas pudding… who really likes this stuff and why is there never a good alternative at the for those that don’t? Surely I am not alone in thinking that hot, baked pannetone bread and butter, or a frost bitten summer pudding doesn’t quite cut it. If you are going to deter from tradition it ought be with something majestic and worth celebrating. Baby jesus certainly would have wanted it that way.
So in the name of indulgence and enjoyment, the one thing mandatory for all at Christmas, I have developed a hybrid between two of my favourite desserts (a majestic olive oil fudge cake and a flourless mousse torte), to celebrate the wondrous chocolate, in a dish so throughly lickourous (a new word introduced to me by through Sainsbury’s taste dictionary – exploring new ways to describe food) that seconds is almost always mandatory.
I hope this festive dessert alternative will provide you with some baking inspiration this holida. Do let me know how you get on via instagram and twitter too.
Flourless Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Torte
- 175g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate, chopped
- 125 ml olive oil
- 150 g unrefined cane sugar
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- 4 eggs separated
- 1 tablespoon ground almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 300g creme fraiche
- 3 tablespoons honey
toppings: toasted hazelnuts, chopped chocolate cacao nibs, orange zest
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof, medium-sized bowl.
Fill a saucepan halfway with water, and bring it to a simmer on the stove. Turn off the heat, and put the bowl on top of the pot. Stir gently as the residual heat melts the chocolate.
Remove the chocolate bowl from the heat and whisk in the olive oil, half the sugar, and orange zest. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine, then finally add the ground almonds and salt.
Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they start to firm up. You want them to get to the point where they just being to turn opaque before you start slowly adding the remaining sugar. Do so as you continue to whip the whites to the point where they become stiff and hold peaks.
Fold one-third of the whipped egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. This will lighten the colour and texture of the mixture. Mix this well and then carefully fold in the rest of the meringue. They key here is to be gentle—you want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture, but do be sure to mix it so there are not white streaks.
Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and bake for 30minutes. Be careful not to bake too long—the chocolate can burn easily and you want that molten melty middle.
Let the cake cool before topping it off with the sweetened creme fraiche and your chosen toppings. To do this simply mis the honey and creme fraiche and ice all over. You can do this so it covers the edges of the cake, or just decorates the top.