If you’ve been lucky enough to get your hands on some blood oranges recently and are looking for a bake which shows off these beauties to their best, I can whole heatedly recommend using them in a simple, but undoubtedly effective and delicious, upside down cake. Just like all cakes of this type, this Blood Orange and Chocolate Upside Down Cake showcases the fruit’s wonderful colour, shape and flavour to the max.
In fact, although it’s certainly worth the effort
to find some blood oranges (or Sicilian Reds as I’ve also seen them called
in our local supermarket) for that amazing colour and unique flavour, you could also use regular navel oranges
instead to make a Chocolate Orange Upside Down Cake instead meaning you can enjoy this cake at any time of year!
Of course what better flavour pairing is there than chocolate orange! I know it’s undoubtedly one of my favourites. And if I was to tell you that there is real chocolate, as well as cocoa powder, in this chocolate cake, you know that you’re not going to be disappointed. As much as I have a huge appreciation for all out fancy cakes (the effort and skill which goes into them is phenomenal), I equally love simple everyday cakes. Upside down cake recipes are just perfect for an everyday cake. Not only are they quick and simple to make, and are perfect with a pot of tea during the afternoon or eaten as dessert following a family meal, they also make great use of fruits.
Upside down cakes really do allow the fruit to be the star of the show, both in terms of flavour and prettiness. This Blood Orange and Chocolate Upside Down Cake is no different. It simultaneously has that ‘wow’ effect when it’s turned out from the tin, showing off the slices of orange and their segments, as well as smelling delicious, and of course tasting amazing with that much loved chocolate orange flavour paring.
The same is true for so many other upside down cakes, allowing you to make great use of seasonal fruits. There’s most probably a different upside down cake to be made every month of the year! How about our Strawberry & Basil Upside Down Cake for summer which has such a wonderful aroma and flavour, this Bilberry Upside Down Cake is perfect in early autumn with its oh so moody dark fruity top, or this Raspberry & White Chocolate Traybake Cake which only needs a random drizzle of chocolate to finish it off .
How to make an upside-down cake.
If you’re new to making upside down cakes, trust me, they’re incredibly easy and worth the few minutes of prep time. It’s simply a case of arranging the fruit on the bottom of the cake tin, topping it with the cake batter and popping it in the oven to bake! There’s no need to make any fancy frosting either (though a drizzle of chocolate to contrast the colours and flavours can be really effective). And the exciting part is, of course, turning the cake out of the tin to see the wonderful fruits shown off in all their glory.
So, here’s how to make a Blood-Orange & Chocolate Upside Down Cake.
Blood Orange & Chocolate Upside Down Cake
- 2 -3 blood oranges or regular oranges if blood oranges are out of season
- 50 g milk chocolate
- 115 g butter unsalted & softened
- 115 g golden caster sugar
- small pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten (see notes a & b below)
- 90 g self-raising flour
- 25 g cocoa powder
- pinch of baking powder
- 1 - 2 tbsp milk
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ / Fan 160℃ / 355℉ / Gas 4. Prepare the cake tin. Grease and fully line the cake tin with grease proof paper.
- Melt the chocolate. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof glass bowl. Create a bain marie by positioning the bowl over a pan of water, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the base of the pan. Sit it over a low to medium heat. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring periodically with a spatula. Remove the bowl from the pan when it has almost finished melting (the residual heat will allow it to melt completely). Set aside allowing it to cool a little, though not allowing it to set.
- Peel the oranges. Finely zest one of the oranges (or use 1 tsp of orange extract if you prefer). Set the zest aside. Imagine the orange as a globe, the stalk ends being the ‘poles’. Use a small paring knife to cut off the two poles to create a flat surface. Rest the orange on the flat surface that you’ve just cut. Holding the orange steady on the work surface use the paring knife to cut away the skin and white pith, aiming not to cut into the orange flesh. Do this by cutting strips of peel from the north pole to the south pole curving the knife as you cut around the naturally round shape of the orange. Continue removing strips of orange peel until the orange is completely peeled.
- Cut the orange into slices & arrange in the cake tin. Turn the orange on its side so that it is resting on the ‘equator’. Use the knife to cut the orange into slices, about 1cm thick. Arrange the orange slices in the base of the cake tin. You may need to cut one or two of the slices to ensure the whole surface is covered.
- Make the sponge batter. Place the soft butter and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Add the salt and orange zest and beat again to combine. Gradually add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, (see note b below). Add the milk and mix in. Sieve the flour and cocoa into the mixture. Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold this in gently. Add the melted milk chocolate and mix together gently. You should have a nice dropping consistency – add a further tablespoon of milk if necessary.
- Fill the cake tin. Spoon the prepared batter over the arranged orange slices. Spread the batter out gently to level, aiming not to disturb the fruit. Use the back of a spoon to make a slight indentation to the centre of the batter. This will help it bake level.
- Bake. Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for about 50 – 55 minutes until a cake skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You may need to rotate the cake tin after 40 minutes of baking. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack.
- Turn out the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Invert a cooling rack on top of the cake tin. In one movement, swiftly turn the cake tin and cooling rack upside down. Remove the cake tin and greaseproof paper. The arranged oranges will now be the top of the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.
- 1 x deep 16cm diameter cake tin
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