Chocolate and orange is a flavor combo that just screams holiday season. In this recipe, orange-infused sponge cakes are layered on top of one another and are generously coated in a rich chocolate icing. The icing is naturally sweetened by sweet potatoes and rice syrup.
Chocolate Orange Cake [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Cake:
- 4 tablespoons ground flax seeds and 12 tablespoons water
- 3 1/5 cups plain flour (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons cacao
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- A good pinch of salt
- 7 ounces of dark vegan chocolate (70 percent cacao and upwards)
- 1 4/5 cups and 4 teaspoons non-dairy milk
- 2/3 cup and 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil and extra for greasing
- 2-3 large unwaxed oranges
For the Icing:
- 4.4 pounds sweet potatoes
- 3 cups cacao powder (or more to taste)
- 1/3 cup rice or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla essence
- Grated orange peel of 1 orange
To Make the Cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 390°F. Grease 4 round cake tins (5-inch each) with coconut oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seed and water with a spoon and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Take the chocolate and with a knife or grater, break it into little, thin pieces. The finer, the better.
- Place the grated chocolate into a large bowl and mix it with the wet ingredients: the almond milk, melted coconut oil, and flax seed mixture. Add the juice of the oranges, grate in the zest of the oranges and combine.
- Next mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until nicely combined. Though be sure not to over mix!
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cake tins and place into the oven immediately. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. (Do a toothpick test after 35 minutes, the cake needs to be cooked through but not dry).
To Make the Icing and Assemble:
- Whilst the cake is baking in the oven, prepare the chocolate icing by cutting the sweet potatoes into chunks, placing them over a large pot with water, and steaming them until they are soft and fully cooked through (about 45 minutes). Pour away the water when done. Let the sweet potatoes cool.
- If the cake sponge is ready, remember to remove it from the oven now. Let it cool. Once cool remove any uneven tops gently with a sharp knife, so that the cake layers are relatively flat and even.
- Finish the icing by placing the sweet potatoes together with the cacao powder and syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more sugar/cacao until you obtain the level of chocolate-ness and sweetness you desire. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before you start icing the cake.
- Ice the cake by spooning icing on top of the first sponge layer. Spread evenly. Then place the second cake sponge layer on top of the first iced one. Ince evenly and continue until all 4 have been placed on top of each other. Fill any gaps between the slices.