Whether because of chocolate's alleged aphrodisiac properties or the way it delightfully seduces the palate, chocolate and Valentine's Day seem to go hand in hand. My original intention was therefore to suggest some raw chocolate recipes (see here
) to share with those close to your heart, but I've been having a hard time finding moulds in the local stores.
Enters Plan B.
With Cafe Gratitude
's amazing Mudslide Pie still fresh in my taste buds memory, I decided to experiment with a chocolate orange version of it. (I've been fantasizing for months about the one Heathy made when she visited me last fall
The result is the following beyond creamy and scrumptious melts-in-your-mouth dessert that is sure to complement beautifully a romantic candlelight dinner. Don was rolling around on the floor moaning in ecstasy, crying "It can't get any better can it?"
Delight-full Chocolate Orange Cake
Makes one 7 " cake
Crust Variation 1
3/4 cup well packed soft dates, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup ground almonds or loosely packed left-over pulp from making milk
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews
Place dates in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until smooth.
If using ground almonds instead of wet almond pulp, you might want to add a couple of teaspoons of water for moisture.
Crust Variation 2
1/2 cup brazil nuts
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cacao or carob powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 medjhool dates
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
Process first 7 ingredients in a food processor until fine. Add agave and cacao nibs (if using) and process some more until the mixture just starts to stick together.
Orange & White Chocolate Filling
1 1/4 cups orange juice
1 1/4 cups cashews, soaked
1/4 cup agave
2 tbs vanilla
1 tbs orange zest
1 tbs + 1 tsp lecithin powder
1/4 cup + 1 tbs cacao butter
Blend all ingredients except lecithin and cacao butter until smooth. Add these and blend some more until well mixed. Put mixture in the fridge to set (see notes).
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup agave nectar
3 tbs cacao powder
2 tbs vanilla
Pinch of salt
2 tsp lecithin powder*
1/4 cup cacao butter
*Lecithin is derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.
Blend all ingredients except lecithin and cacao butter until smooth. Add these and blend some more until well mixed. Put in the freezer to set.
Press your crust of choice into the bottom of the springform pan.
Pour half of the White Chocolate Orange mixture on top and set in the freezer for about an hour.
Top with the Chocolate layer and return to the freezer.
Once set, pour the rest of the Chocolate Orange layer and return to freezer until ready to serve.
Decorate with dried coconut and gogi berries ground up in coffee grinder, cacao nibs and orange filets
Close your eyes and enjoy in good company!
~ The different layers of this cake can be prepared quickly, but you do want to start preparing this several hours ahead to allow enough time for the different layers to set during the assembly process. (I began around noonish in order to serve it that evening.)
~ I used the cake recipe for my Strawberry Shortcake
as the first layer, but I think it would be also fabulous with a chocolate coconut crust. Take your pick!
~ You'll notice that the Orange & White Chocolate Filling is firmer than the Dark Chocolate Filling at first. I recommend keeping it in the fridge until ready to assemble the final layer for easier spreading.