Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

November 2nd, 2023

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It has been a good year for citrus in the garden. The orange tree in particular is the most laden I have ever seen it. Considering some years we only get a handful of fruit this is a moment to rejoice. I will never quite know why it is fruiting so well this year. Was it the extra rain last spring? Were the bees more efficient at pollination? Maybe it was the wind to help with the pollination? Lots of unanswered questions, but this year it has been an orange fest. 

Having fruit trees in the backyard is a privilege I don’t take for granted. If you don’t have the space there are other ways to access homegrown fruit. When it is in excess it is often given away, check online forums, or join a local community garden where the fruit (and maintenance) is shared. Search out public fruit trees that are free for all – remembering to leave some for others. Or if you are renting, citrus trees grow well in large pots or grow bags. 

In the recipe I share below, I use some of the last oranges from our tree – they have been going well since August – to make a fun marble cake using the quintessential combination of orange and chocolate. Enjoy!

More Orange & Citrus recipes on Homegrown Kitchen

Chocolate Orange Marble Cake

The classic Jaffa combo, chocolate and orange, never gets old. A marble cake is a great way to showcase the different flavours in one. It is also fun to make, and surprisingly simple, for the wow factor achieved. In regards to the flours used in this cake, I have used half plain flour and half ground almonds (sometimes called almond flour), which I love using in cakes for its tender crumb. I am aware it is pricey so save it for recipes like this where the use of ground almonds means the batter is less likely to be overmixed. If using all wheat flour overmixing can result in the gluten developing too much and a tough texture once baked.
Servings 10 serves
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • cup (85ml) orange juice (about 2 oranges)
  • ½ cup (125ml) olive oil or neutral oil (or use 120g melted butter)
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60g) plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150g) plain flour (can use spelt or gluten-free flour)
  • 1 cup (120g) ground almonds
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C (fan 160C). Generously grease a 22 cm bundt tin (I used a silicon one as the cake releases more easily) and dust lightly with flour. Or use a lined 20cm cake tin.
  • Have two mixing bowls at the ready. In the first bowl place the sugar and orange zest. Use your fingers to rub together until it resembles wet sand. Add the orange juice, oil, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  • In the second bowl place the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine and aerate.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients bowl. Use a spatula to fold the batter until just combined.
  • Pour half of the batter back into the wet ingredient bowl (no need to clean it first). Add the sifted cocoa powder to this bowl and fold again to combine - don't overmix.
  • You will now have two batters, one pale orange, and the other chocolate-coloured. Grab two large tablespoons and alternate dolloping the two batters into the prepared tin. To create a marble effect use a bamboo skewer to briefly swirl together, don’t overdo it or the batters will merge.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then invert the cake onto a rack to cool. Cut into wedges and serve. Store the cake in a covered container for up to 3 days.

Notes

*If you want to go for extra decadence make a simple olive oil ganache to drizzle over the cake. Place 100g dark chocolate and 2 tsp olive oil into a heat-proof bowl. Set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Spoon the ganache over the cooled cake and leave to set.

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