What could be better than eating segments of chocolate orange? Baking with it, of course. Take your love for the classic combination to new heights with these melt-in-the-mouth recipes.
If you’re a chocolate lover, then chances are you’re always in pursuit of ways you can add a hint of sweetness to your cooking. During lockdown, in the midst of baking mania, we became masters of chocolatey goods, whipping up everything from intensely chocolate brownies and gooey Nutella muffins, to classic American cookies and a baked Toblerone cheesecake (yep, really).
The beauty of cooking with chocolate though, is that there are countless ways to create truly irresistible treats. And, with British wintertime on the approach, and the possibility of a second lockdown on the cards, it’s fair to say that chocolatey goodness is needed now more than ever.
The flavour combination that’s at the forefront of our minds right now (second only to scoffing Quality Street straight from the tin) is chocolate orange. Ponder the brilliance of rich chocolate offset by sugary citrus…well, frankly, we don’t need to imagine, thanks to the wonder that is Terry’s Chocolate Orange.
If you’re already brainstorming ways to turn chocolate orange into a more substantial dessert, call off the search: we have three delectable recipes for you to get started on right now.
Are chocolate brownies your idea of happiness squared? Then scroll straight ahead to Sabrina Ghayour’s almond and orange version. The genius addition of tahini makes them especially rich and squidgy, but the aroma of a warm batch is worth the bake alone.
If you prefer a chilled dessert, Katy Beskow’s chocolate orange mousse has a subtle hint of liqueur, and is ideal for making ahead of time - all the better when you’ve had a busy day at work.
Lastly, Christin Geweke’s chocolate ring with orange glaze is exactly the sort of magical, sugar-dusted confection you might gaze at in a Scandinavian bakery. Tear and share if you feel so inclined - but you’d be forgiven if you devour it all yourself.
Sabrina Ghayour’s tahini, almond and orange brownies
Sabrina says: “These almond-based orange-spike brownies are so good, simple to make and even gluten-free to boot. I absolutely love combining chocolate and orange in cakes and desserts, as they work so well together, but the nuts and the wonderfully rich tahini really crank up the flavour while also keeping these little brownie squares lovely and soft.”
Makes 9 or 12
- 4 eggs
- 200g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon natural vanilla extract
- finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed oranges
- 4 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
- 400g ground almonds
- 200g salted butter, melted
- 4 heaped tablespoons tahini of pouring consistency, thinned with warm water if necessary
- 100g dark chocolate chunks or chips (70% cocoa solids)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper, ensuring the paper comes up a little over the sides.
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Add the orange zest and juice and cocoa powder and mix well. Add the ground almonds, then stir in the melted butter. Add the runny tahini and really work it well into the mixture - it will stiffen a little, so add a tablespoon of warm water if it seizes too much. Finally, fold in the chocolate.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and then shake the tin and tap it on the work surface to settle the mixture evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through and a skewer or knife inserted into the centre of the brownie comes out clean. Remove from the oven, then use the paper to lift the brownie out of the tin. Leave to cool on a wire rack on the paper, then cut into squares.
From Simply: Easy Everyday Dishes by Sabrina Ghayour (£26, Octopus), out now
Christin Geweke’s chocolate ring with orange glaze
Makes one 26cm ring
- 500g plain flour
- 100g sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp vanilla sugar
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- 20g fresh yeast
- 100ml lukewarm milk
- 3 eggs
- 125g butter, softened
For the filling
- 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
- 20g milk chocolate
- 80g butter
- 40g icing sugar
For the glaze
- 80g sugar
- 1–2 tbsp orange juice
- flour, for dusting
- icing sugar, for dusting
Combine the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk. Add the eggs, softened butter and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and knead everything for about 8 minutes to make a smooth, pliable dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise for about 2 hours.
For the filling, coarsely chop both types of chocolate and melt them, together with the butter, in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside to cool, then whisk in the icing sugar until smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal portions. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 28 x 38cm in size and 3mm thick. Spread the chocolate filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 2cm border on all sides. Roll up the dough tightly and evenly, starting from the narrow side. Trim the ends and join both rolls together to make a ring. Press the ends together gently, then use a sharp knife to score the top in a zigzag pattern. Transfer the ring to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake the chocolate ring for about 35 minutes. If the surface gets too dark, cover with foil and transfer to the bottom rack of the oven.
Meanwhile, for the glaze, bring the sugar to the boil in a small saucepan together with the orange juice and 2 tablespoons water. Simmer over low heat to reduce for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the chocolate ring from the oven and drizzle with the glaze while still hot. Set aside to cool completely before slicing. Serve the ring dusted with icing sugar.
From Fairytale Baking by Christin Geweke (£20, Murdoch Books, £20), out now
Katy Beskow’s chocolate orange mousse
Katy says: “These divine little pots have a decadent flavour combination of chocolate and orange. I love the subtle boozy hint, but feel free to replace with a teaspoon of good-quality natural orange extract. Make sure that you use silken tofu, as firm tofu will not create the desired bubbly mousse texture.”
- 340g silken tofu
- 100g dark chocolate chips or chunks (ensure dairy free)
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp orange liqueur (ensure vegan)
- 1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
Add the silken tofu to a high-powered jug blender and blitz on high until smooth, or use a stick blender to blitz the silken tofu in a bowl.
Add the dark chocolate pieces to a heatproof bowl, then melt over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted into a shiny liquid, then carefully pour into the blended tofu.
Stir in the maple syrup, orange liqueur and vanilla extract, then blend again to ensure the mixture is silky smooth and fully combined.
Spoon into ramekin dishes or pots, then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight until set.
Tip: The mousse requires some time to set in the fridge, so it can be prepared a day in advance. Sprinkle with unwaxed orange zest just before serving, if you like.
From Easy Vegan Bible by Katy Beskow (£22, Quadrille), out 12 November - pre-order here
Photography: Yelda Yilmaz; Luke Albert, Kris Kirkham
Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.