CHOCOLATE AND ORANGE CAKE or TORTA DI CIOCCOLATA E ARANCE (maybe gluten-free after minor changes)


I made this cake yesterday and when I saw Luisa’s post over at The Wednesday Chef this morning, I just said Oh no to myself! It just shows that nothing is new under the sun, not that I ever thought so but here we have yet another proof of it. I have never looked in a Nigella Lawson cookbook, yes, I did see one program 5 years ago but I wasn’t that impressed. I do see her recipes adapted on many food blogs and as they seem to be heavily influenced by Italian cooking (not the sweets though) I just feel why go for second best when I have the real thing right where I am! And that goes for Jamie Oliver, as well, here I have to admit that I actually have seen 3 or 4 programs but the last one I saw one year ago made me so &%*#(ugly word) off that I just turned off the TV. It was one part of the series when he is in Italy on a cooking tour and I got so fed up with his patronizing style when he thought that he was bringing God’s word to the Italians about cooking with fresh herbs and vegetables that I just couldn’t take more of it. When England hardly knew what a fresh vegetable was in the Middle Ages, Italians were already adopting these successfully in their regional cooking so please don’t pretend to know more than they do. Or at least don’t show it on TV when I’m watching it. I know that I’m probably upsetting those of you who are Nigella fans or Jamie fans but this is what I feel. And this is all I’m going to say about that.


About this Ilva Beretta recipe I can say that it has a really adult flavour to it and that it disappeared quite quickly (my brother in law was mainly responsible for that).


CHOCOLATE AND ORANGE CAKE or TORTA DI CIOCCOLATA E ARANCE (maybe gluten-free after minor changes)

4 eggs
150 g / 5,3 oz sugar
100 g / 3,5 oz butter
200 g / 7 oz dark quality chocolate
125 g / 4,5 oz flour (I think you can successfully make this cake gluten-free by substituting it with rice flour or your favourite gluten-free flour as flour has such a minor role in the whole composition)
1/2 tsp baking powder
200 ml / 0.85 cup fresh orange juice
100 g / 3,5 oz sugar

– Melt the butter and the chocolate together and leave it to cool down a bit.
– Whisk the eggs and the sugar in a bowl for a couple of minutes (I have to confess that I rarely whip until it’s whitish and I have never noticed any difference but maybe I’m not subtle enough)
– Add the chocolate and butter, stir well and then sift the flour and the baking powder into the bowl as well. Mix very well before putting it in a greased and floured (that sounds completely mad but I hope you get what I mean!) round cake tin, mine was approx 20 cms /7,7 inches in diameter because I wanted it to be a bit high.
– Bake it in pre-heated oven (175° C / 347° F) for ca 20 minutes.
– When it bakes you put sugar and orange juice in a small pan and leave it to simmer until syrupy, it takes some time.
– When the cake has cooled down a little turn it out of the tin and stick holes in it with a stick. Spoon the orange syrup over the cake and try to make it enter into the holes. I used a syringe without a needle as well in order to get the syrup into the drier parts of the cake. Great fun actually, I can recommend it!
– Eat and enjoy!


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