Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

This gluten-free and dairy-free Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is made with whole oranges boiled then pureed for an authentically fresh orange flavour. The cake is beautifully moist and flavourful with chocolate chips dotted throughout for added luxury.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

I will always find time for baking another cake. The laundry piling up in the basket may be threatening to engulf our whole bedroom, our dining table buckling under the weight of disorganised post and baby changing paraphernalia and Cole’s toys are now just what we refer to as ‘carpet’. Since his favourite pastime is currently jigsaw puzzles the carpet can be a little raggedy underfoot which I apologise for. Despite all this chaos I can still carve out a little corner of the kitchen, locate my food mixer from beneath bags of shopping which still need to be put away and bake.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

Is this need to place cake baking before actual house and family maintenance simply greed? Can I explain it away as recipe testing for the website or the cake stall? Do I do it to calm me down and empty my mind of my breastfeeding difficulties? Or is it an activity with Cole with an aim to share my very favourite thing with him whilst he bashes around with flour, a wooden spoon and snacks on the add-ins. It’s definitely all of the above. I love to bake cakes. I love to eat them, to share them with others and I relish the excitement and happiness that a homemade cake brings to proceedings.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

So even if I have been up since 2am trying to settle a baby, I have no idea what I’m making everyone for dinner, the dog needs to be walked and I haven’t showered since Easter. Even then, if you can’t count on anything else from me then you can bet your bottom dollar there will be a freshly baked cake resting on the side of the kitchen. Oh and it will probably be given to my family in lieu of dinner.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

This Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is a riff on my really popular Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake which I’ve been making and selling on my cake stall for years. The idea being that last week I was craving a chocolate orange cake with the emphasis on a really orangey sponge and deeply studded with chocolate chips. I realised very quickly how I could bastardise this cake which I already had in my repertoire to fit for purpose. Oh my goodness it worked such a treat and I am loving this new take on one of my old favourites. It was the exact cake I was craving. The only little bit of trouble to the cake is boiling the oranges up for an hour before you are ready to start but once that job is done the cake batter takes about ten minutes to beat together before pouring into the cake tin.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

There is also no complicated decorating technique involved, just drizzling copious amounts of chocolate over the top, which makes any cake look tremendously appetising. I don’t have time for any sort of decorating at the moment. I just want the cake. And I would serve this cake up any day of the week, it is so absolutely delicious, moreish, moist and with so much flavour. Actually Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is perfectly suitable for afternoon tea but also for dessert, especially if you were to add a dollop of crème fraiche on the side of the plate.

Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}

Now look, Luke thought there were too many chocolate chips in this cake for his money so if you like to err on the side of orange versus chocolate then you are permitted to reduce the chocolate chips by 50g. If, like me, you feel the term ‘too many chocolate chips’ does not compute with your system then stick to the below quantities. In my mind this cake is simple perfection and the reason why baking will always be prioritised over laundry.

Print Recipe
Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake {gluten-free}
This gluten-free and dairy-free Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake is made with whole oranges boiled then pureed for an authentically fresh orange flavour. The cake is beautifully moist and flavourful with chocolate chips dotted throughout for added luxury.
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large oranges together they should weigh about 450g
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 375 g dark chocolate chips use vegan chocolate if you want the cake to remain dairy-free
Orange Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon juice of an orange
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake
Prep Time 75 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large oranges together they should weigh about 450g
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 125 g polenta
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 375 g dark chocolate chips use vegan chocolate if you want the cake to remain dairy-free
Orange Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon juice of an orange
Instructions
  1. Place the oranges in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour until soft.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C (fan oven)* and line and grease a 8 inch round x 4 inch deep cake tin.
  3. Remove the oranges from the saucepan and cut in half to remove and discard the pips.
  4. Place the oranges in a blender and blitz until smooth and set aside for a minute.
  5. In a large bowl or food mixer beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick then mix in the pureed orange.
  6. Add the polenta, ground almonds and baking powder and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  7. Finally stir in 250g of the chocolate chips (saving the extra 100g for the chocolate drizzle on top) until evenly dispersed.
  8. Pour the batter in the prepared cake tin and bake for 10 minutes then turn the heat up to 160°C. Bake for a further 40 minutes until firm to the touch and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Once the cake is ready, remove from the oven and prepare the honey syrup by dissolving the honey in the orange juice in a saucepan on medium heat. Once dissolved and reduced slightly, prick the cake all over with a toothpick and brush the honey syrup evenly all over the surface of the cake.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the cake tin.
  11. Once the cake has cooled and been removed from the cake tin then prepare the chocolate drizzle by melting the remaining 125g of chocolate chips in a bain marie or bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag (or a small plastic food bag – just snip the corner off when you are ready to drizzle) and leave the chocolate to thicken slightly for about ten minutes before drizzling over the cake.
Recipe Notes

*I like to use a fan oven for this cake as it is so moist that the fan helps the cake bake more evenly. However, if you don't have a fan oven then just increase the initial heat to 170°C, bake for 10 minutes then increase the heat to 180°C.

Adapted from 90 Years of KitchenAid-The Cookbook

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!! To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this cake then check out Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake

This Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Whole oranges are boiled then pureed to create an incredibly moist and intensely citrusy cake spiked with a hint of rosemary.

Triple Citrus Shrub

Triple Citrus Shrub is a wonderful way to start your day. Fresh orange, lemon and grapefruit puree smartened up with raw apple cider vinegar for all its health benefits and a good glug of honey to sweeten up the proceedings.

Triple Citrus Shrub

I have been beginning every morning with a generous glass of Triple Citrus Shrub to help aid my digestion, provide me with the necessary vitamin c to ward off this ghastly flu that is doing the rounds and generally because it is pretty delicious.

If you are unfamiliar with a shrub, it is a specially brewed drinking vinegar. Originally produced to preserve the fruit juice of the season, they can also be made with alcohol instead of the vinegar, but that makes a very different kind of shrub that probably isn’t going to be your first choice to accompany your breakfast toast. The recipe can be pretty basic by just steeping together fruit, vinegar and sugar and if you have used enough vinegar and sugar it can keep for an absolute age in the fridge. Depending on how much you like the zingy vinegar taste you can dilute your shrub as much or as little as you like. I found that I started out diluting it a lot then got a little bit more generous in my fingers of shrub as I got more and more into it.

Triple Citrus Shrub

I mentioned at the top that I have been drinking my shrub to aid digestion and that’s because I have been really suffering with horrible acid reflux for the past couple of months of this pregnancy. I am trying to avoid drinking copious amounts of Gaviscon or bicarbonate of soda to ease it (as I did when I was pregnant with Cole) as it plays havoc with your gut and so I’m trying all sorts of natural remedies to counteract it instead. So far I’ve got off pretty lightly this pregnancy with my complaints (save the initial morning sickness) but this acid reflux is really getting me down as it’s making me dread eating or drinking since anything seems to be sparking it off.

Triple Citrus Shrub

So here comes the shrub. I had been drinking diluted apple cider vinegar in the mornings which among its many health benefits like reducing blood sugar levels is said to aid digestion. This is due to buying the raw unfiltered vinegar which contains the ‘mother’ which is a by-product of the fermentation process and contains lots of healthy proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria to help repair your gut. However, I had not been getting on so well with the apple cider vinegar as it seemed to be producing an initial heartburn which wasn’t pleasant. So when I found myself with copious amounts of orange, lemon and grapefruit flesh going begging as a result of my Homemade Mixed Peel I tried my hand at turning it into a very basic shrub to help the apple cider vinegar be ingested more pleasurably.

The experiment has been great. I am a great believer that if something is working for you then it works and don’t question it too closely. I am not by any means a nutritional therapist but I am feeling better drinking my shrub everyday, whether it’s the placebo effect or is actually doing something pretty beneficial to my gut is beyond my knowledge but it is delicious and you can’t knock the amount of vitamin c that the shrub contains and so far (touch wood!) I have yet to have a cold this winter.

Triple Citrus Shrub

I didn’t make my shrub in any traditional way as by the time I started properly investigating the recipe then I had already blitzed up all my fruit flesh in the blender and it was too late to steep the whole citrus segments in the vinegar which is what I learnt later I should have done. However, the method I did use was quick, easy and produced a shrub that was available to drink straightaway. All I did was blend the citrus flesh, boil up the puree with a good amount of honey, re-blend the sweetened fruit with the vinegar and pour it into a kilner jar to store in the fridge.

Triple Citrus Shrub

You can dilute the shrub any way you see fit. In the mornings I am happy with a quarter part shrub whisked in with three quarters cold water. However, I have also been finding in the evenings that if I mix the same amount of shrub with three quarters sparkling water then I have my very own healthy fancy cocktail. If I’m feeling especially exotic I have been known to add a sprig of mint in to really jazz it up.

Homemade shrubs are a favourite of mixologists at the moment as they can create really excitingly flavoured cocktails and I can totally see why with all the tangy sweet and sour notes going on. For now though, I can feel pretty saintly as I drink it. Talk to me in a few months though when I am free to glug a bit of gin into my shrub as well. Still perhaps, not at breakfast time.

Triple Citrus Shrub

Print Recipe
Triple Citrus Shrub
Triple Citrus Shrub is a wonderful way to start your day. Fresh orange, lemon and grapefruit puree smartened up with raw apple cider vinegar for all its health benefits and a good glug of honey to sweeten up the proceedings.
Triple Citrus Shrub
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
1 litre
Ingredients
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 450 ml honey
  • 500 ml raw apple cider vinegar with the mother
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
1 litre
Ingredients
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 450 ml honey
  • 500 ml raw apple cider vinegar with the mother
Triple Citrus Shrub
Instructions
  1. Carefully remove the peel, pith and seeds from the fruit until you are left with only the flesh.
  2. Place all the fruit flesh into a blender and blitz until smooth. You should have about 1 litre of fruit puree.
  3. Pour the fruit puree into a saucepan along with the honey, whisk them together and heat gently until boiling.
  4. Remove from the heat and pour back into the blender.
  5. Pour in the apple cider vinegar and blitz for a minute or so until mixed completely.
  6. Pour into a large jar and leave to cool then store in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

The shrub can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I think the reason I was so quick to blitz my fruit was because I’m always itching to use my Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model which was a birthday present from Luke back in December. Words cannot express how much I love it, it’s my new kitchen baby. It makes the most deliciously smooth smoothies, healthy green soups and date purees for baking. I am in no way sponsored by Vitamix, I just love my new toy.

The apple cider vinegar I like is Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, 946ml which I used in this shrub, the Vinegar Cake I am posting about next week and every day uses like salad dressings and marinades. It’s very delicious and supposed to be very good for you too.

The Amazon links above are affiliate links which means if you click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund my shopping list for the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream
I find ice cream one of the most relaxing and joyful things to make.  One of the key notes about Diane Keaton’s character in It’s Complicated- oh we quote the highbrow art here – is that if she can’t sleep she makes ice cream.  Typically for a Diane Keaton role she is uptight and neurotic so her freezer is bursting with ice cream.  However, that comforting and gentle experience of making ice cream is something I can completely relate to.

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

When I stopped working full time last year I went on a bit of an ice cream bender.  I made all the flavours I had been setting aside for the many years I had worked in an intense and long-houred career.  I was now free to produce tubs of salted butter ice cream, apple pie ice cream, cornflake ice cream, and malted milk ice cream.  I bought gallons of double cream and whole milk, experimented, I infused and I churned like milk maid gone wild.  There were no losers in this scenario.  It took my mind off the terrifying prospect that I had just voluntarily given up the career I had proudly worked all my adult life to achieve and it helped me reflect on exactly what I planned to do next.   Plus my husband loves ice cream so he was as happy as a pig in Mississippi mud pie ice cream.  Which was also delicious.

It’s surprising then that I haven’t talked much about ice cream in the few months I have been writing here.  I suppose I took a bit of a hiatus, after all our freezer isn’t the giant American style megalith that Diane Keaton had and it could only take so much.  The good news is that my ice cream supply is now dwindling and I have been slowly picking up the pace these past couple of weeks to build it back up again.  Unfortunately it has coincided with the time of year that the freezer needs defrosting, but that just means we’ll have to eat it as quickly as I make it.  Again, there are no losers in this scenario.

Bitter Choc and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream

Bitter Chocolate and Orange Ricotta Ice Cream
Makes about 600ml

250ml double cream
100ml whole milk
Zest of 1 orange
240g ricotta
6 egg yolks
90g caster sugar
50g dark chocolate

  1. Mix together the double cream, milk and orange zest in a medium saucepan and warm through. Set aside for 1 hour to infuse.
  2. Mix the ricotta in with the cream mixture and heat in a medium saucepan until just under a boil.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until smooth.
  4. Pour the ricotta mixture into the egg mixture in very slow and steady stream whisking constantly.
  5. When everything is combined pour back into the saucepan and heat until just under a boil and the mixture has thickened.
  6. Strain to remove the zest, then chill for at least 4 hours.
  7. Churn in an ice cream machine. When it seems ready, sprinkle in the chocolate chips and continue churning for a minute to evenly disperse.
  8. Decant into ice cream tubs and freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

Saffron Chicken and Herb Salad

Saffron Chicken and Herb Salad

I love all my cookbooks equally.

Actually that’s not true at all, I definitely have some that I give a higher regard to more than others.  And some are just plain useless but they might be signed by the author or kept for sentimental reasons.  I continually cull my cookbooks, especially since I’m a bit of an impulse cookbook buyer and acquire a lot of dross, so this has to be done regularly lest my house become overrun and my husband gets grumpy.  Last week I sent another batch to the charity shop, always a sad day but it had to be done to make way for my new Christmas cookbooks, of which there are many.

Wesley reading OttolenghiI do read and use recipes from my cookbooks all the time but this January I want to make sure all the newbies get christened as soon as possible so they feel truly welcome and part of the family.  So the first one to get the royal treatment was Jerusalem, a book I have been longing for all year.  Ottolenghi’s previous cookbooks, Ottolenghi and Plenty, are my kitchen stalwarts and a first glance at Jerusalem confirms that his third time out is not a disappointment to the canon.
oranges
fennelOttolenghi’s recipes seem to made for Januarys.  The ingredient lists always feature fun new spices that you haven’t heard of before and unique ways of marrying herbs and vegetables that can inspire even the most rigid of detoxes. There were plenty of recipes I wanted to try immediately but this salad is the one that leapt off the page, purely because I had all the ingredients in and thankfully used up one of the dozens of oranges I have hanging around.
Chicken Orange and Fennel Salad2

This salad was so zingy and fresh and the method of preparing the orange was a unique way to create a fruit dressing.  I am definitely going to try the same technique with lemons and limes.  The resulting blended orange mixture was slightly bitter from the orange peel but the honey and orange juice added sweetness with a gentle infusion of saffron.  As the orange coated the warm chicken the zesty oils were released and were so delicious with the fennel and herbs.  The only thing I found in the recipe was that in the initial boiling of the orange I topped up the water a couple of times as the liquid was running too low and not covering the orange enough for it to soften.

Another great thing as well is that you yield more orange than is needed and it can easily be kept in the fridge, ready for the next batch you are going to make the following day, which I guarantee you will as it is hella good.

Chicken Orange and Fennel Salad4
Chicken Orange and Fennel Salad5

Saffron Chicken and Herb Salad

Serves 2
Recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini, adapted for quantities

1 orange
½ tsp of saffron threads
50g honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 fennel bulb, sliced finely
Handful of coriander leaves, torn
Handful of mint leaves, torn
Handful of basil leaves, torn
½ red chilli, seeds removed and sliced
½ garlic clove, crushed

  1. Trim and discard 1 cm off the top and bottom of the orange, then cut into 12 wedges, keeping the skin on, removing the pips and place in a saucepan along with the saffron and honey. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 1 hour until the orange peel is soft.
  2. Blitz the orange with all the liquid in a blender until smooth. Leave to cool.
  3. Toss the chicken breasts with 1 tbsp of olive and seasoning and grill for about 2 mins on each side on a very hot griddle to achieve the char lines, then move to an oven pre-heated to 180°C for 10-15 mins until the chicken breasts are just cooked. Remove from the oven and leave for a few mins until cool enough to handle.
  4. Tear the chicken up with your fingers and place in a large bowl. Add ¼ of the orange mixture and stir to thoroughly coat the chicken.
  5. Add the fennel, coriander, mint, basil, chilli and garlic to the chicken and toss together with the olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning.
Chicken Orange and Fennel Salad3