Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache

Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache (0016) by Meeta K. Wolff  

It’s like living a déjà vu. My memory has records of pictures and feelings that I can aptly call up the exact position in my life I lived the moment, but I also know that the way I am living the same experience right now is different, fresh and unique. And I know this will be the last opportunity I have to relive it in this incomparable way.

It puts a smile on my face to see him read the same paragraphs, verses and authors, as I once did when I was not much older than he is today. Soeren has discovered the world of stimulating literature. Short stories, prose, sonnets, rhymes, lyrics – all entice him into a wonderful world filled with powerful imagery and creative writing.

“This is the best thing I have done!” he exclaimed excitedly to his teacher the other day.

I, of course, was elated. I remembered how my own English teacher, Mr. Chadwick heard the same words from me as he opened the doors to some of the most brilliant classics and writers of our time.

Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache (0006) by Meeta K. Wolff

I am in my element and maybe Soeren feels how energized I am when we work together on book reports, learning to recite Goethe or practice his lines to his part as Nick Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but we both are feeding off of each other’s creativity.

The other day he was sitting at his desk, pondering over his homework. Acrostic poems was on the plan and we discussed and debated for a while. We talked about what an acrostic poem was and whether they must rhyme or what the main themes were. The themes were winter and Soeren had selected SNOW. This is what he came up with:

Soeren's funny snowman stands / Nicely on a powdery white hill / Oh! How majestic he looks in this / Winter Wonderland

His eyes were bright as fireworks as he realized he had just written his first poem. You know, that look where you are filled with self-doubt but once you apply yourself – it comes easy and you know this is what you want for the rest of your life. Exactly that was the look.

The next day I went and bought him his first Moleskin! These masterpieces have to be recorded.

Friday on Twitter is Friday Poetry Fix day and one poem that kept nagging at my thoughts ever since I read it was "Canvas and Mirror" by Evie Shockley. It looks at life in a mirror, capturing aspects of it on an intangible canvas. 

I decided to have a go at my own self-portrait, capturing some moments of my past and present.

Self portrait with lights; with camera; with props; with
action. Self portrait with many goodbyes; with
long journeys; without roots. Self portrait of a foreigner in
her own country.
Self portrait with a friend lost; with
a friendship false; with lessons learnt. Self portrait
at a desk by the window; with an Ode; with
Keats to comfort the soul; with Season of mists and
mellow fruitfulness. Self portrait of the MTV generation, with
neon legwarmers; with black Wayfarers; with slinky lace,

striking a pose. Self portrait with Careless Memories; with
traces of lipstick; with high heels; with cocktail; with
another cocktail; with countless giggles. Self portrait with
insecurity; with new language, self portrait with determination;
with discoveries and open horizons. Self portrait in love,
in turmoil, in tears. Self portrait with
man of dreams, with wine; with sunset in
San Marino, self portrait with ring.

Self portrait as your mama; with my son; with anxiety; with
unconditional love; Self portrait covered with
flour; barefooted in kitchen, self portrait
finally at Home. Self portrait in bliss; at concert;
in the Swing of Things; with
anticipation; with boxes in the attic. Self portrait
always and forever but forever not yours.

Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache (0001) by Meeta K. Wolff

What do you think? Well I enjoyed writing it and as I did, I was having yet another déjà vu as the snippets of the poem took me back in time.

This cake seems to have an omnipresence unlike any cake I have ever made. It actually started back in November when Jamie and I were visiting Jeanne in London. As we browsed through Nigella Lawson’s Feast, not really looking for recipes but more at the photography, we chanced upon her Chocolate Orange Cake. I think it was really the fact that Jamie and I had just purchased a pretty cool cake tin at Tesco’s and were looking for an excuse bake with it. The cake provided the perfect test.

“Mum this is the easiest cake in the world!” commented Soeren as he whizzed all the ingredients in the food processor.

Indeed, it is – the easiest (albeit the 2 hour cooking time for the oranges) and most certainly the most luscious you’ll ever make.

I did make a few alterations to the recipe, by adding ground cardamom to the batter and using hazelnuts instead of ground almonds. The cake Nigella featured was plain with no frosting but Soeren and I could not resist the idea of a salted caramel frosting. 

Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast – Chocolate Orange Cake

Printable version of recipe here


For chocolate orange cake

2 small oranges, total weight – 375g
6 eggs
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g ground hazelnuts
250g fine granulated sugar
50g dark cocoa powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom 

For salted caramel ganache

75g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
75g milk chocolate, chopped
200g heavy cream
50g butter
100g sugar
large pinch of Fleur de Sel


  1. In a pot place the whole oranges and top off with just enough water to almost cover the oranges. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for approx. 2 hours until soft and tender.

  2. Drain and cool. Cut the oranges in half removing any large pips. Then put the entire oranges (peel and all), in a food processor and whizz to a pulp. Set aside to cool or alternatively place in the refrigerator overnight.

  3. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter and line a 20cm springform baking form.

  4. Add all of the remaining cake ingredients – eggs, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, hazelnuts, sugar, cardamom, cocoa powder and the orange pulp – in the food processor and whizz until you have a smooth and creamy texture. There will still be bits of puréed orange in the batter.

  5. Pour and scrape the cake mixture into the prepared form and bake of approx. 45 to 60 minutes. If you notice the top of the cake beginning to darken too quickly, then cover with some aluminum foil to prevent it burning before the cake has cooked through. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is ready to be taken out.

  6. Allow the cake to cool completely in the form, on a cooling rack.

  7. To make the salted caramel ganache, place sugar in a pan and make a dry caramel, by allowing the sugar to melt and take on an amber color. Do not mix the caramel, instead gently swirl from time to time to allow the sugar to dissolve.

  8. Place both types of chocolate in a bowl and place a sieve over the top. Set aside.

  9. Once the caramel has reached the desired color, pour in the cream, slowly and whisking gently. The caramel will sputter and bubble once you pour in the cream so, be careful and stand away from the pan. Continue to whisk until incorporated and smooth.

  10. Pour the caramel through the sieve over the chocolate. With a wooden spoon gently stir the mixture until the caramel melts the chocolate, then add butter and continue to whisk. Add the fleur de sel. The mixture will begin to thicken as it cools down but be careful not to over-whisk the ganache as it may separate if it is handled too much. Allow to cool completely.

  11. Using a metal offset spatula spread the salted caramel ganache on top of the chocolate orange cake and frost the cake, swirling and peaking into whatever pattern you like. Refrigerate to set the ganache.

Tip: Prepare and purée the oranges a day ahead, because the day you bake the cake all you need to do is literally dump all the cake ingredients into the food processor and whizz: The easiest cake in the world!



Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache (0022) by Meeta K. Wolff 

Self portrait with plate; with traces of chocolate; with expandable jeans; with total satisfaction

Be prepared to be seduced by this cake. The cake itself (without the frosting) is extremely moist and as it is made with no butter, milk nor flour, my gluten and lactose intolerant readers can really indulge. I added cardamom because it simply was shouting to be paired with chocolate and orange. These flavors intermingle in perfect harmony. The hazelnuts are less sweet and flavorwise richer and earthy, which works as a fantastic counterpart to the zesty orange-y aromas. The salted caramel topping is a decadent addition and extremely moreish. Maybe I should place a warning here:

This cake will seduce you, addict you and make you grovel for more!

imagePlease take a moment to visit Life’s a Feast and Cook Sister! to see how Jamie and Jeanne present the same cake. But make sure you are wearing your big waisted jeans when you do!

Sarah of Maison Cupcake is hosting a monthly event called Forever Nigella and as this month’s theme is Seduced by Chocolate, I decided to send out my chocolate seduction in the form of this Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Caramel Ganache.

Please read the warning above – just saying! ;o)

If you want more chocolate seduction hop on over to Ria's Collection where Ria has rounded up the Monthly Mingle for this month Chocolate Extravaganza.

I am off to Vienna for a weekend trip with T, hoping to create more self portrait snippets in my life. Have a grand week and weekend. Catch you next week!

More chocolate seduction from WFLH:

Rich Chocolate Banana Breads with Pistachios, Pink Praline and Au Naturel Dark Chocolate Cherry and Tahini Clafoutis White Chocolate Cardamom Mousse


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2011 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. I was moved and touched by your wonderful story of Soeren as his eyes lit up, as his first poem (with many many more to come!) rolled out onto a page. Falling in love with reading and writing. And your poem is perfect and I can see you in every word. And then you mentioned the elastic waisted pants and I burst into giggles! How I love you, you silly, wonderful girl! Here is to the first of many, many shared baking experiences with my two sisters! (and I am so entranced by your photos on this one!) xo

  2. Aaah, Soeren, our little Renaiisance man ;o) Hope that poetry book I sent him for Christmas stands him in good stead for many years to come, and that this is not by any means the last poem he writes. I have been writing poetry for nearly 30 years and it gives me as much pleasure today as it as a teenager.

    As for the cake... you had me at hello with that ganache. And I had to smile at the fact that we not only baked it on the same night (not planned!) but also chose to both add the same spice. Is there no end to our Borgness??

    I am so glad I chose Evie Shockley's wonderful poem for my Friday Poetry Fix! Now it has inspired both you and me to write a riff on it - who knows what other heights it can inspire us to? Your poem is... well, it's you, my sweet sister-from-another-mother, with all your complicated nuances. It makes me smile and it makes me cry.

  3. What a beautiful full of emotions. And of course the cake looks lovely.....the texture looks just about perfect in that first shot!

  4. A gorgeous cake! What a splendid texture. Those are irresistible flavors.

    A beautiful post.



  5. I can imagine the glint in Soeren's eyes as I look in my girls' eyes - the excitement of discovering what I've discovered so many years ago does not dwindle. I have a budding writer in the family and it fills my heart with so much love!
    I love the combination of chocolate and orange. The cake looks extremely moist. And easy, you say? My youngest would love to make it with me.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts and photos:)

  6. I enjoy reading this post. The cakes looks so lovely and moist. I love the combination of chocolate and orange.

  7. Cant take my eyes from the clicks,cake looks extremely soft and moist, love choco and orange together in anything..

    Caramel ganache tempts me a lot.

  8. the cake looks fantastic, I can almost taste it

  9. Mmm mmm mmm and though I thought I was stuffed full of cake after seeing Jamie and Jeanne's, you've done something entirely different with it that tempts me all over again. That flavour combination sounds fantastic and I desperately want to try out that icing, it looks heavenly.

    Two poets in one family! I love Soeren's snow poem, it's a work of art! And yours is totally poignant too.

    Thank you so much for taking part in Forever Nigella!

  10. Every time it's a real pleasure to read one of your posts (better say pieces of beautifully written prose, and this time, poetry!).
    This cake is really calling me from the screen!

  11. What a captivating poem "Canvas and Mirror" by Evie Shockley is to read, I can see why it would have inspired you to write your own self-portrait. Love that last line by the way "Self portrait with plate; with traces of chocolate; with expandable jeans; with total satisfaction". I think that could be my self-portrait as well!

  12. Awww, I could feel the pride you were feeling as you were writing about Soeren. Brought a smile to my face as I've been there many times with my 8 year old. So many precious moments, so easily forgotten, they grow up sooo quickly.

    I love the way the 3 of you put your own spin on the recipe. The cakes all look fabulous and I expect they didn't last long!

  13. A beautiful, beautiful poem, Meeta.

    I think the salted caramel ganache is the best bit of this cake. It looks delicious.

  14. Ahh two poets...Hard to decide my fav...And the cake is stunning know how to make flavours work babes x..have a fab trip and yes do get back with photos ;-)

  15. Love it! Your poem is great! Please post a "past" picture of you with the neon legwarmers. What would we tell our former selves now? It was lovely to read of your life's journey to contentment through your poem.

  16. Thank you everyone for your comments! I hesitate to share my poetry here as it's something I think is very private and goes into the soul. Really glad many of you are liking what both Soeren and I wrote.
    As for the cake - I cannot imagine one person not really getting addicted to it!

  17. Great post Meeta, Your cake is just as poetic and puts a smile on my face like u did on Mr. Chadwick. Now I just have to actually eat a slice to confirm my theory.

  18. I was drawn in by the salted caramel ganache and then seduced by the chocolate and orange flavours.

  19. I really love your poem, Meeta, as well as your son's. Visiting my father and young half sisters this month, I learned a little of both the hardship and joy of raising children. Reading your experiences with your son has taught me a little more about the latter. What a wondrous experience motherhood must be. I hope to experience it one day. As for this cake, holy moly does it look good. Bring on the expandable jeans, please!

  20. I already love the idea of combining chocolate and orange (one of my favorite flavor pairings), and that caramel buttercream is just the icing on the cake - pun intended. Delicious, Meeta!

  21. Lovely post - I've shared so many literary journeys with my two daughters...from early picture books with nursery rhymes, to Harry Potter, to Jane Austen and Haruki Murakami. I made this cake for them last week too - but without your exotic additions and fab looking frosting.

  22. This recipe and picture looks and sounds fantastical! Lovely that you live in Weimar. I will be in Berlin, God-willing, in June with my husband for research. Thank you for a lovely website.

  23. This sounds luscious! The one of Nigella's that I've made before (and absolutely love!) is the Store-Cupboard Chocolate Orange Cake...also very good! The salted caramel ganache sounds divine!

  24. That's a beautiful post Meeta! And that cake?? Doesn't get better than Chocolate n citrus thrown in together!

  25. I enjoyed reading your post and looking at the cake! I kept scrolling back up! I enjoyed your poem most of all, reminded me of the days when I painted with a few artists and we wrote poems reflecting the paintings. Your photography is art in itself.

    Thank you for sharing.

  26. I m unable to decide which is more beautiful..your poetry or the cake..its a hard choice :) I love the way you have conveyed your emotions..good food, good memories..all in one post. Absolutely gorgeous!

  27. I am getting dizzy today hopping between the 3 of you :-) and I cannot have enough of orange and chocolate. Meeta I am out of words and I just want to EAT. Wish you lived by me.

    A passionate and emotional post and :-) at the last line... :-)

  28. really pretty photos- i feel like dipping my finger into that icing, Meeta. and the story about your son- and your poem- very sweet. x shayma

  29. I am so excited to make this, and I finally have a reason to use my Fleur de Sel!

  30. Incredible - wow... what a delicious looking cake and pictures!

  31. Meeta, I love reading your posts so much that they mesmerize me! I loved reading the poem and am amazed at Soeren's literary creativity at such a young age!
    Of course the cake looks delish to the max, as usual!
    Thanks for sharing!

  32. Great post Meeta. I love your poem- especially the reference to Wayfarers. (I had them too!) Your son sounds like a remarkable young man. How can he not be with you for a mom. The cake by itself could inspire a poem. I'm bookmarking it now because it looks sensational!

  33. The cake is awesome. Seems very rich and delicious too. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I always look forward to your stylish posts.

  34. Oh Meeta my friend, you have touched my heart in a deep place with this one . . . Soren is a very lucky boy to have a mama like you to teach him these things, to share the things you both love. Your poem is touching and beautiful and gives us a glimpse into your world - I imagined watching you as if I were a little pixie in a hidden corner, waiting to see what was about to unfold in your life. I'm just beginning to understand poetry - it is something that has both perplexed and vexed me - "why couldn't writers just say what they mean?" I often wondered. But as I age, I'm at a place of slowing down and this new world of words begins to make sense. Beautifully done, Meeta

  35. What a beautiful post, really touching and very inspiring too. Thank you Meeta.
    And I can't wait to try that salted caramel ganache, it looks luscious. x

  36. Lovely post Meeta! I had to come over and look at your cake after reading about it at Jamie's blog. The caramel salt ganache looks to die for! How lucky for your son that you are transcribing all his works in to a book that he will be able to keep all his life. Nothing conjures about better the true essence of a person than a poem. Thanks for sharing yours. I've done a few on my blog and I cherish those posts more than any other x

  37. For today, this is the best cake recipe that I have seen in blogs... I always find chocolate and caramel a perfect match and I am really drooling right now staring at the baked cake. I am so excited to try it in my oven.

  38. Lovely post and beautiful cake! I enjoyed looking around your blog very much!

  39. I think I watched the episode where she makes this... it looks lovely. I can relate to your story about Soeren as my father felt exactly that way :-)

    Enjoy your holiday!

  40. How wonderful that Soeren has developed your love of words!! What a wonderful thing to share! And this cake - I love the chocolate and orange combination!

  41. Absolutely lovely!

    I love the caramel and salt combo, the best looking cake I've seen in a while...sigh..Guess I need to get out my baking pans!

  42. what a symphony of flavors and creations here, from the cake, to the photographs to the poem to the writing. Lovely lovely lovely!

  43. dis seems 2 be a fantabulous cake... i need it,,,,,

  44. How great to see a young boy like Soeren embrace the arts and literature with such finesse! You must be proud Meeta...and that cake! I adore chocolate and orange together but as usual you have taken it slightly further with the addition of cardamom. Thank you for brightening my day with such a lovely post!

  45. I love how the ganache is only on the top. It shows how truly rich and heavenly the cake is. :)

  46. That cake looks so good! Chocolate and orange were made for each other!

  47. Thank you all for your feedback and comments! Nothing like Chocolate Cake and Poetry to satisfy both the appetite for mind and the tummy! ;o)

  48. it looks so yummy and fantastic, I love the combo orange-chocolate but with salt caramel I'm sure it's gorgeous
    thanks for sharing

  49. Oh, I am loving your blog more and more! Poems, stories of sons, expandable jeans. I have a new son and after the discovery of expandable jeans during pregnancy I will never look back.

  50. I was dreaming of a real chocolate cake now for 5 weeks, and each week I went out and bought myself a slice, and everytime something was missing. You know, when you put a bite into your mouth and it melts away, the flavours just interweave and at the end, with just one bite, you tasted the ful spectra of an orgasm.
    And this cake did just that - it made me come...

  51. Wow that looks like one amazing cake and better yet its gluten free! I've never thought of making caramel ganache - genius idea! YUM

  52. This would be heavenly. I love the look of the frosting. A big slice for me, please :D

  53. Meeta, love that you and Soeren are enjoying literature so! And this cake? I want it so much! I am positive I could figure out a dairy-free caramel ganache, and you did the hard part - making a gluten-free cake! Yum to the highest level!

  54. Mmmm this looks so yummy. Your blog is amazing. Please visit mine at

  55. Omg! Your pictures are stunning! I am still new to blogging and picture-taking and hopefuly some day, my pictures can turn out half as good as yours....

    Btw, your cake looks delicious. I especially like the caramel icing. Yum!

  56. You have no idea how much the gluten-free chocolate orange cake photos and recipe have meant to my ability to get through this bleak winter morning! Thank you thank you thank you! (And thanks to @thebloggess for bringing me here!)

  57. This is a lovely post!! I was a big fan of literature in school!

    The cake looks amazing, I'm a fan of salted caramel with anything :)

  58. This post made me well up with tears. You have a way of capturing feelings that parallels your ability to capture pictures. The deja Vu part is something I can connect with especially well! Soeren is such a love! He is lucky to be able to try so many luscious foods. btw, I tried salted caramel for the first time last summer during our vacation in Cape May, NJ, a seaside paradise and my secret prop shopping source. I was hooked. yum!

  59. Dear Meeta

    This cake is a stunner. Now, i am planning to make it for my hubby's birthday this weekend. Do u think it will fit the occassion? Or you wanna suggest another marvel from your collection? Also, is Fleur de sel vital for ganache? we dont get it here in India so any substitutes??

    Thanks for your time

  60. Hi Pooja!

    I think this cake is perfect for a birthday. If you want you can make more of the frosting and cut the cake in half, adding a layer to the middle. This will make it simply decadent! Fleur de sel adds a little kick to it but you can use any other salt.

  61. Dear Meeta
    Thanks a ton for your fast reply. I couldnt get back yesterday because internet wasnt working here. But here I am to tell you how thankful and touched i am as you replied to my query so quickly even after such a busy and hectic weekend. just like your blog and food, you are awesome. I'm making this cake tomorrow and shall frost it in evening and allow to it to be in fridge for flavours to mature for about 6 hours. Shall let you know how it turned out.

    Thanks once again

  62. Hey Meeta
    Cant find Hazelnuts here. which one would be a better substitute, almonds or pistachios?? Sorry for bugging you!


  63. Dear Meeta
    I made this cake for my hubby's birthday. It turned out most delicious choco-orange cake we have ever had. It was "cake" replica of Lindt Noir chocolate which is again choco-orange flavor. such a glorious cake with such an easy recipe! and yes, i opted for almonds instead of pistachios, and kept caradamoms too, and the flavor came out singing! I shall be ever so thankful to you.


  64. Hi Meeta,

    thank you for sharing!
    Made this cake and it was really tasty.
    Thanks again.


  65. Such a beautiful post and lovely self portrait..great poetry session with chocolate cake and a charming son..what else does one need!!

  66. I tried making the salted caramel ganache, and it was absolutly amazing, but it turned but it was very dark chocolate in The colour and not light caramel colour as Tour pictures. What can I have done wrong???

  67. Hi Meeta! I love your blog and am always inspired to try out your recipes. In fact, I am dying to make this cake, but I don't own a food processor :(. Can I mix all the ingredients in a normal blender?


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.