These indulgent chocolate fondant cakes perfectly combine slightly acidic blood oranges with rich dark chocolate and highlight the complementary flavors of both ingredients.
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Have you been enjoying blood orange season yet? From December to March or April, depending on where you live, blood oranges are inviting you to feast on their gorgeous, jewel-like ruby flesh. Their taste is ever-so-slightly more acidic than regular oranges (especially the Moro variety), but you can of course use (and eat!) them every way you’d use regular oranges.
Nerd alert: do you know what causes the flesh of blood oranges to turn red? Antioxidants! Blood oranges contain anthocyanin, a natural pigment that develops when blood oranges ripen during warm days tempered by cool nights. Interestingly, anthocyanins can color fruits from deep red to violet. They are what give blueberries their gorgeous indigo color, eggplants their deep violet shade, and—you guessed it—blood oranges their ruby red tone.
What I’ve always found fascinating is that blood oranges are not always the same color. Sometimes blood oranges will only be streaked with red, whereas other times, they’ll be fully deep crimson red. I find it usually depends on how far you are into the blood orange season, but it can also depend on the variety you buy. I just love the surprise of slicing into a blood orange to discover its particular shade! File this under: the miracles of nature.
I had long been wanting to create a dark chocolate and blood orange dessert, not only because the color of both ingredients makes for such dramatic plates, but also because both flavors work so incredibly together. The slightly acidic flavor of blood oranges cuts through the richness of dark chocolate, while also complementing its fruity flavor. In this recipe, the dark chocolate fondant cakes are infused with blood orange zest and have a rich, barely set interior that’s close to that of a lava cake. But what makes the chocolate fondant cakes extra special is the blood orange segment syrup: the syrup adds an extra orange kick, and the segments sit on top of and around the chocolate fondant cakes like jewels.
You’ll need eight blood oranges to make this recipe. If you can’t find blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges make for a fine substitute: their coral flesh would be just as spectacular with these chocolate fondant cakes. If blood oranges and Cara Caras are off-season, pick up Navel oranges and don’t look back. I promise you’re in for a treat, regardless of the variety you choose to use.
If you’re unsure how to zest or segment the oranges, scroll down to the recipe notes for instructions.
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Author: Marie Asselin
This dessert looks so tasty and decadent and these pictures capture the recipe so well.
Thank you Moop! It’s a pretty irresistible treat indeed 😍
What a delicious dessert idea for blood orange season! I will definitely be making these this week!
You’re gonna love them Chenee!
this cake looks gourmet and beautiful. Love the combination of ingredients especially the orange syrup idea.
The syrup adds the fresh, juicy flavor of oranges to the cakes! Such a great combo with chocolate.
Bood orange is delicious and so beautiful to look at, every time I see them in my supermarket I have to get a few. Orange and chocolate are some of those combos made in heaven, as this recipe proves it.
If you can keep some of those blood oranges from being eaten as a snack, use them to make these cakes! So, so good!
Lovely little cakes. They are beautiful and so delicious. Love that orange syrup, yum! I have to make this for my hubs for Valentine’s. Thanks for sharing this idea.
This is the perfect dessert for a romantic night in!
I’m completely smitten with these blood orange cakes. Chocolate + orange is so classic, but using blood orange is even better. Just looking at your photos is making me crave one or two (or three) of these right now!
I completely relate to your craving! Thankfully this recipe makes a nice batch of fondant cakes… but they disappear really fast! 🙊
This dessert looks mouth melting delicious. Love the combination of oranges and chocolate. Presentation yum.
Thank you Veena!
What a wonderful recipe! Such gorgeous cakes and they look delicious. I love the combination of blood orange and chocolate; I find these flavors complement each other very well. I will definitely make these.
I agree, the acidity of blood oranges and the richness of dark chocolate is a match made in heaven!
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing blood orange chocolate fondant cake recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
Happy you loved it Allyssa!
This is a beautiful dessert. It’s hard to resist the combination of chocolate and blood oranges. Plus, double antioxidants!!
That’s an excellent way to sell this dessert! :D