Low-carb chocolate orange cake

low carb chocolate cakeDecember is here, otherwise known as the low-carb nightmare season. Mince pies, cakes and all sorts of sugary treats are omnipresent and very hard to ignore.
One way to beat them is to make your own low-carb treats, which can be just as scrumptious and tempting as their high-carb counterparts.
This low-carb chocolate cake is based on a very simple basic recipe, made with almond flour and cacao powder. I then jazzed it up with some seasonal flavours – orange, brandy and a hint of cardamom and cloves. Finally, I used sugar-free dark and white chocolate drizzle to decorate it.

Adding orange flavours

I used grated zest of one massive orange, which was probably about the same as two normal oranges. Take care to grate just the very top layer of the zest that’s bright orange, avoiding the soft white layer under it. Oranges are quite high in sugar so I would feed the actual remaining orange to someone who is not on a low-carb diet.
I then used 1 tbsp of orange extract to further enhance flavour. You could also use 1-2 tbsp of orange juice – but it will then add a couple of extra grams of carbs to the whole recipe, which is probably not that big a deal unless you are on a very low carb count.

Adding spices

If possible, get whole cardamom pods and cloves and grind them just before using (extract cardamom seeds from the pod first). These are quite strong flavours, so you only need a hint of them, otherwise they would get overwhelming.  I used two cloves and seeds from one small cardamom pod.

Texture

The cake mix should be thick, but still pourable. If it is too sticky, add a couple of spoonfuls of milk (dairy or nut).

Glazing

This part is optional but does make the cake much prettier. It is also quite fun to do. Basically, you need to melt some sugar-free chocolate over a water bath (bain-marie), with a bit of fat such as heavy cream, cacao butter or dairy butter. Then drizzle it across your cake in a Jackson Pollock manner.
I used two types of chocolate: very dark 100% cacao solids Willie’s Cacao, and white chocolate Stevia bar by Cavalier.

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