Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau “You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress.
Jeanne Ray

Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau, actually as delicious as cake can get. These are flavours that really gel well together, bring out the best in each other, and are quite easily available. Simplicity is the best and this is a fine example of just that. I don’t bake layered cakes very often now. More often than never it’s a birthday in the family that spurs me into action. This was the case here too.Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and even though I wanted to bake a coffee something {like I always do}, I was at my laziest best. As a last minute thought, I whipped together these Ginger Jaggery Wholewheat Tea Cakes and have to say that they were quite the best wholegrain cakes I have made. What made them great was the combination of flavours. They screamed comfort, the spices painting the air. Orange was a great addition there. Here as well….

Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau Oranges of all sorts are falling off carts that line the city roads, the local hybrid, keenu, one of the best. The odd cartloads filled with local farm fruit are also making an appearance . Less glossy than their city cousins, yet they are tangy and juicy. I bought some the other day, the local or ‘desi’ variety. I also had keenu in the fridge, glossy, juicy and very rind worthy! And then, last but not the least, the little kumquats. That’s a lot of citrus these days, so citrus is the cake was a given.KumquatsThe other flavours just fell into place as I normally do sponges on the go. Any flavour that comes to mind {often coffee}, or then a seasonal flavour that I can use. I was thinking cinnamon or pie spice but the cartloads of oranges changed my mind. Almond meal of course because I love the flavour so and it pairs really well with almond. And finally dark chocolate ganache for the frosting, since it’s the easiest way to go when you have no time {and are as badly organised as I am}.

Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau The only brainwave I caught was to add orange flavour to the ganache and it tied up the flavours beautifully. Talk about good luck! You could use orange zest as I did, or maybe an orange liqueur like Cointreau if so inclined. I dare say that a kumquat liqueur might work some magic in there too, truly making it a sinful dessert cake. Try it; you’ll love it!

Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau I also shot a step by step of sorts using the ASUS ZenFone2 Laser that was sent to me to review since I love food photography, and it boasts of great camera specs. Well, I put it to test while baking & assembling the Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau and was pleasantly surprised with how well it captured the process. Here’s a step-by-step {well almost}, as I threw the cake together at supersonic speed. ASUS ZenFone2Laser + cakeYou can see how well it took images in low light as I began baking the sponge quite early in the morning when winter light is very low. The entire collage was shot with the ASUS ZenFone2 Laser which houses a 13MP primary camera with auto focus {really good}, and has wide view with LED flash. The good folk also sent me a ‘Lolliflash‘ which is a handy, sweet little accessory that improves the quality of low light photos.

Recipe: Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau your picture

Summary: The Orange Almond Chocolate Gateau combines the best of flavours, each complimenting the other beautifully. The gateau is moist, bursting with fresh flavour and quite indulgent. It’s a great party cake. Serves 8-10

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Almond Orange Sponge
  • 6 large eggs {or 7 medium}
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 115g plain flour
  • 35g almond meal {or almonds}
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15ml clarified butter
  • 4-5 drops almond extract
  • Orange syrup
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 25g sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Filling
  • 400ml cream
  • 50g sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Frosting/Ganache
  • 200ml low fat cream
  • 125g dark couverture
  • 1 tsp Cointreau or zest of 1 orange
  • Slivered almonds, orange slices for topping


  1. Almond Orange Sponge
  2. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 8″ loose bottom tins with parchment.
  3. Run the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt in food processor to blend well, and loosen. Reserve.
  4. Place the clarified butter with almond extract in a heatproof bowl and heat in microwave for 30 seconds, until melted.
  5. Place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with a hand beater for 7-9 minutes until tripled in volume and mousse like. Add the zest and vanilla extract, and beat again
  6. Fold in the plain flour mix in 4 lots, gently so that the beaten air is not released.
  7. Fold in the clarified butter blend.
  8. Divide the batter into prepared tins. Bake for approx 45 minutes until tester comes out clean, and light golden brown.
  9. Turn onto cooling racks, peel off parchment immediately  and leave to cool. Slice horizontally into 2 layers each.
  10. Orange syrup
  11. Place ingredients in heavy bottom small sauce pan. Simmer gently until sugar melts and syrup thickens slightly. Discard vanilla bean.
  12. Orange cream filling
  13. Place all ingredients in big bowl. Whip on high speed until medium high peaks form.
  14. Ganache
  15. Place chocolate and cream in heatproof bowl and heat for 1 minute in microwave {or melt over a double boiler}
  16. Assemble
  17. Sandwich the layers of the cake with the orange cream filling, painting each layer first with the orange syrup.
  18. Frost all over with the chocolate orange ganache, sprinkle slivered almonds over, and orange slices f desired.

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Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake 1000“When you celebrate, there is sure to be cake.”
Florence Ditlow

Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake … it was a cake that was meant to be a Swiss roll. As it often happens, there was a last minute change as it popped out. Wasn’t sure if it was malleable enough to roll, the dessert rings caught my glad eye. Before I knew it, I was stamping out circles to create the sweetest mini layered cake I have ever made!Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered CakeSo if your skills at baking are minimal, if you are scared the sponge might crack up and laugh at you, if you are a sucker for punishment like me and insist that cakes must be dark chocolate and flourless, here’s the perfect answer. STAMP IT OUT! Being experimental at times can throw up the most amazing of options.

Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake Whoever said that dark chocolate is the only therapy you need, is a 100% spot on! This is the prefect little sweet treat, big enough for 3-4 servings, small enough to control temptation. Blink and it’s gone; but oh my, leaves you satiated with quite a happy feeling in the tummy.

Step by step Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake I also did a festive version of the cake, Chocolate Sparkler Cake {GF} for this months Diwali issue of Femina, with DIY steps and all. This version had rose petals and pistachios and was  great fun to put together. Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake for Diwali

Recipe: Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake
your picture

Summary: Deep, intense, chocolaty and sinful, this Flourless GF Mini Dark Chocolate Layered Cake makes for a creative and fun holiday bake.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • 130g dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp orange juice or water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mousse filling and frosting
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 200ml cream
  • 15g raw sugar {boora} or icing sugar
  • Garnish
  • Fresh mint leaves, seasonal fruit, cocoa powder


  1. Flourless Cake
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  3. Melt the chocolate with orange juice {or water} either over a double boiler, or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Leave to cool.With an electric hand beater, beat the egg whites and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a large clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Reserve.
  4. Place egg yolks and remaining sugar with vanilla into a big bowl. With the same beaters, beat yolks until tripled and mousse like, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Drizzle in the melted chocolate and gently fold in, and then add 2 tbsp of beaten whites. Fold gently so that the beaten air is not released.
  6. Gently fold in 1/3rd of the egg whites, then another third, then the remaining whites.
  7. Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake at 180C for 18-20 minutes, until firm to touch.
  8. Take out of oven. Sift over 1 tbsp cocoa thick, and then swiftly yet gently turn the warm cake onto a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off lower parchment gently, and sift more cocoa over it.
  9. Allow to cool, and then cut into shapes. 3 X 4.5″ circles and 3 X 3″ circles. {use a cookie cutter, doughnut cutter, katori etc}
  10. Mousse filling and frosting
  11. This can be made first so that it chills while the cake is being made.
  12. Melt chocolate with 50g cream over a double boiler or in the microwave. Whisk until smooth. Cool completely.
  13. Whip remaining cream with icing sugar. Fold into chocolate mix gently. Leave to chill in the fridge. The mousse should be quite firm, yet spreadable.
  14. Assemble
  15. Place one 4.5″ circle in base of tin top with 1/2 layer of mousse filling, top with next layer, mousse filling, then third layer. Repeat for smaller circles.
  16. Place bigger stacked layer on serving platter and gently remove the ring mold using a sharp knife to free the sides. Use 2/3rd of the remaining mouse to frost the cake, and then top it gently with the smaller cake stack. Frost the smaller cake with remaining mousse and leave to chill for 30minutes.
  17. Chocolate Lace Collar
  18. Cut out parchment paper borders to fit around the base cake. Place the melted chocolate in a ziploc bag and snip off a corner. Doodle designs over the border and place flat in the fridge for 5 minutes until just set but malleable. When just about to set, place snugly around the cake, pressing into place ever so gently.
  19. Leave the cake in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes for the chocolate to harden, and then gently peel off the parchment.
  20. Sift the cake with a little cocoa powder. Garnish with sliced strawberries and fresh mint leaves.
  21. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
Cassandra Clare

Coffee chocolate panna cottaDark Chocolate Cream with Coffee Panna Cotta. OK, it’s another ‘dessert in a glass’, yet another panna cotta, chocolate again, and coffee all over again! That’s the combination that rules my world, makes me happy, is a comfort fix, is uber indulgent too. To top it off, it’s a quick make ahead dessert that everyone enjoys a lot. Justifies it a bit, right?

Coffee chocolate panna cotta If you’ve never made a panna cotta, maybe the time is now. Since I’ve shared panna cotta so often before, this is going to be a short post.  If you love it as much as I do, then you know what I mean. We’re on the same page. Play around with the recipe to suit your palette. If coffee is not your thing, then maybe do a dark chocolate vanilla version. Or one that we really enjoyed equally when I did one with the bitter orange marmalade. That was phenomenal too.

coffee chocolate panna cotta

GV8A83521Just penning these words has given me a whole bunch of new ideas. What is you favourite way to a panna cotta?

[print_this]Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cream with Coffee Panna Cotta
your picture

Summary: Indulgent and ever so pleasing, this Dark Chocolate Cream with Coffee Panna Cotta offers a match made in heaven. Set in glass goblets to enjoy its visual appeal! The dark chocolate cream on it’s own is quite indulgent too.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes {plus setting time}

  • Dark Chocolate Cream
  • 300ml low fat cream
  • 125gm dark chocolate, chopped {I used 70% couverture}
  • 25ml honey
  • 25g good quality cocoa powder
  • 10ml Kahlúa {optional}
  • Coffee Panna Cotta
  • 300ml low fat cream
  • 125 ml whole milk
  • 2 tsp gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar {use slightly less first, then adjust as required }


  1. Dark Chocolate Cream
  2. Place the cream, chocolate and honey in a large heat proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the cocoa powder and Kahlúa if using.
  4. Place 6 wine glasses at a slant in a loaf pan, and pour the chocolate mixture into them. Leave these to set in the fridge for 2-3 hours till they hold shape.
  5. Coffee Panna Cotta
  6. Sprinkle the gelatin over a 1/4 cup of milk and place the bowl over hot water for gelatin to melt.
  7. Bring the cream, sugar, coffee powder & remaining milk to a simmering boil over low heat, simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Take cream mixture off heat, whisk in the gelatin until mixed uniformly. Adjust sugar if required. Cool to room temperature and then pour over the set dark chocolate mousse.
  9. Chill until set for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Top with dark chocolate curls dusted with cocoa powder.


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