Decadent Gluten-Free Norwegian Dark Chocolate and Blood Orange Torte
Norwegians love cake
Scandinavia has a rich and vivid cake culture. In fact, “cake and coffee” is to us what “bbq and beers” is to Australians. You will be offered a pot of strong, black coffee and a piece of cake wherever you go. It’s our way of letting you know you’re welcome.
A traditional Norwegian cake is characterised by its light, fluffy base with many eggs and little to no butter, moist and rich fillings that almost always include cream, and wet and tangy additions of fresh berries and fruits.
I have based this decadent chocolate and blood orange cake recipe on the classical elements of my heritage, mixed with the warm citrus flavours which feel so at home in the southern hemisphere.
Layers and layers of heavenly chocolate
This incredible cake consists of several elements; the chocolate torte base which uses only egg whites to rise, the fragrant blood orange syrup with Grand Marnier which is absorbed by the rich base, the luxurious blood orange marmalade filling, and the thick chocolate icing and creamy ganache. Add to this the colourful twisted slices of sweetened blood orange that crown this jewel of a cake, and you have a treat for the eye as much as the palate!
Serves 12-16 slices
Preparation 25 minutes – cooking 40 minutes – decorating 10 minutes
- 150 grams dark gluten-free cooking chocolate (beautiful Belgian 60% chocolate is preferred)
- 150 grams of unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar (icing sugar flavoured over time with a vanilla pod) or 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 6 organic eggs (from pastured hens), separated
- 150 grams gluten-free cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
- 150 grams of caster sugar
- The zest of 1 organic orange
- 250 grams dark gluten-free cooking chocolate
- 100 ml icing sugar
- 1 egg white from pastured hens
- 200 grams of dark gluten-free cooking chocolate
- 180 ml double cream (gelatine-free)
You will also need 1/2 cup blood orange marmalade, 1/4 cup blood orange syrup, about 8 slices sweetened and twisted blood orange for decoration , and some cocoa powder to drizzle on top. Follow the links for recipes!
- Preheat your oven to 175 c
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie
- Whip butter and sugar in a mixer until it is white and fluffy
- Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla sugar (vanilla essence) until you have an even mixture
- Blend in the egg yolks, one by one
- Add orange zest
- Sift in the flour, and fold gently into the mixture
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
- Stir in about 4 spoonfuls of the egg whites, then carefully fold in the rest. Make sure you do not stir the egg whites in, as it is the air in the meringue that will rise the cake (there is no baking powder)!
- Pour into a greased 22 cm diameter round cake pan with a loose base
- Bake on the bottom rack for 40 minutes
- Cool on a rack
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie
- Mix in icing sugar and egg white until the mixture is smooth. Do not use a high-speed electric mixer.
- Chocolate ganache:
- Bring double cream gently to the boil whilst stirring.
- Pull off the heat as soon as you see bubbles.
- Add chocolate in pieces, and stir until the chocolate has dissolved entirely.
Optional: Unsweetened whipped cream
Assembly of cake:
- Once the cake has cooled completely, cut it in half evenly with a sharp knife
- Place the halves side by side with the cut end up.
- Using a tablespoon, spread blood orange syrup evenly onto the bases and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Once the bases are moistened by the syrup, spread two-thirds of the marmalade evenly onto both bases
- Continue by spreading chocolate icing on the bottom layer, then place the top layer over
- Spread the rest of the marmalade over the top of the cake, and follow with chocolate icing.
- Use a spatula to even out the icing
- Pour the warm ganache over the top of the cake, and let it cover the sides ad well as the top.
- Place the cake in the fridge to set, before drizzling cocoa powder over top and placing the twisted oranges in a decorative pattern.
- Leave the cake in the fridge to set (about 15-20 minutes) and cut with a warm knife.
Serve with unsweetened whipped cream, a drizzle of Blood Orange and Grand Marnier syrup, and a good cup of coffee!
Did you try this recipe? Have you got any great tips or variations? Please share!
This recipe was featured in the wonderful Easter issue of Yum. Gluten Free Magazine