Boozy chocolate orange torte (dairy and gluten free)

For me, Christmas is not Christmas without the divine festive flavour combination that is chocolate and orange (I’ve always been a sucker for Terry’s!)

This year we are catering for a loved one with a serious dairy intolerance so I’ve been experimenting with dairy-free pudding recipes, and so far, this wins hands down.

It is dark and damply delicious served warm and unadorned with ice cream.  You could also step it up a notch by adding a warm chocolate sauce, or serve it at room temperature, topped with this dairy free ganache, chopped nuts and glitzy bits.

If you’d prefer an alcohol free version, simply replace the cointreau with fresh orange juice. And if you’re not enamoured by a dairy free lifestyle you can swap in butter for the coconut oil in the cake and use cream in the ganache.

It freezes well without the topping and makes the perfect alternative to Christmas pudding or a wonderful festive centre piece for a New Years Eve dinner.

Cake Ingredients

200g dairy free dark chocolate with orange (I used chocolate & love)

200g coconut oil

150g ground almonds

Zest 1 orange

6 eggs, separated

180g golden caster sugar

50ml cointreau

Ganache Ingredients

100g coconut oil

100g cacao or cocoa powder

175ml maple syrup

2 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp cointreau (optional)

1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180. Grease a 23cm springform cake tin with a little coconut oil and line the base with baking paper

Put the coconut oil and chocolate into a saucepan and heat gently until they are both completely melted. Stir in the ground almonds and orange zest and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar with a handheld electric mixer in a large bowl until thick and pale. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

Clean the beaters and put the egg whites into a large clean bowl. Whisk until stiff peaks form when you lift the beater out.

Stir the Cointreau into the chocolate mix and fold through one spoon of the egg white to loosen the mix.

Gently fold through the rest of the egg whites until the mix is well combined, trying not to knock too much of the air out.

Pour the mix into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until risen and firm and beginning to crack.

Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack

To make the ganache, melt the coconut oil and tip into a blender along with all the other ingredients. Blend to a smooth consistency, then allow to sit until it reaches spreading consistency. Spread over the cake and top with chopped nuts and a little Christmas sparkle.

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