Chocolate Cake with an Orange~Cinnamon Cream

Chocolate Cake {Gluten Free}  |  Orange, Cinnamon & Vanilla Cream

Intro Collage

Cake is synonymous with joy, laughter, and togetherness. While warm cookies may accompany an afternoon snack or ice cream may be a treat for a weekend celebration, cake is for the moments we want to remember, the milestones we want to imprint on our minds and hearts. A frosted cake rests on a kitchen table, dotted with glowing candles and melted wax, as everyone gathers to sing a spirited, off-key version of Happy Birthday to the guest of honor. Towering cakes are sliced by a bride and groom as they feed each other their first mouthfuls as husband and wife. Cake celebrates life, marking the passing of another year. Cake is a representation of love, of hopefulness and togetherness.  Cake is served on the best days of your life.  ~  Kristin Rosenau, Pastry Affair {pastry}

It is a tremendously beautiful day here in Northern California.  The water in San Francisco bay is sparkling in the early autumn sunshine.  The breezes, which carried Oracle Team USA to a stunning victory in the 34th America’s Cup yesterday, continue today.  Michael is enjoying a short break from months of business travel and working from home.  UPS just delivered a new cookbook {Nigel Slater’s Notes From The Larder} to my front door.  After school and sports activities, the children will come home and we will enjoy dinner together.  All things considered, a wonderful day to make a cake and mark the passing of one year…the 1st birthday for The Dinner Concierge!


One year ago today, I invited you to share dinner with us and here we are, well-fed and a bit wiser {looking back through those early posts, well, let’s just say they were slightly rough around the edges and leave it at that}.  One year {and 275 posts} later, the simple premise upon which this blog was built still holds true…I love to cook for my family and friends.  As I flipped through the first few pages of Nigel Slater’s newest cookbook, Notes From The Larder, I came across this passage which sums up my feelings as a home cook…

“I am not a chef and never have been.  I am a home cook who writes about food.  Not even a passionate cook {whatever one of those is}, just a quietly enthusiastic and slightly greedy one.  But, I like to think, a thoughtful one.  Someone who cares about what they feed themselves and others, where the ingredients come from, when and why they are at their best, and how to use them to give everyone, including the cook, the most pleasure.  While a bit of cookery is simply magic {some of the food being produced by professional chefs at the moment is extraordinary, exciting and wonderful}, most of it is essentially craft, a subject that holds great interest for me.  the art of crafting something by hand~a sandwich even~for others to enjoy is something I can always find time for.  Making a dish over and over again till it is how you want it, whether a loaf of bread or a pasta supper for friends, gives me a great deal of pleasure.”

Over the course of the past year, I hope this little space has provided you with a bit of inspiration for your own family mealtime and that you are able to see, beyond the photographs and recipes, how dinner can nourish our bodies as well as our souls.

And so, today…a cake.  Not your typical birthday cake {layers buried under several inches of sweet frosting} but this is the type of cake that I love best.  Simple, uncomplicated and classic…rich, moist cake accompanied by a silky cream that is lightly flavored with orange, cinnamon & vanilla.  A cake that can be enjoyed after school with a glass of milk, after dinner with a cup of tea and, even {dare I say}, in the morning with a hot cup of coffee.


I have always loved the flavor combination of rich, earthy chocolate with that of  sweet~tart orange…


The cake itself is classic chocolate but has the additional benefit of being gluten~free.  Now don’t roll your eyes!  I promise you…no gritty texture here. In fact, the first time I made this cake nobody suspected a GF recipe.  Eggs, coconut milk, coconut flour, raw cane sugar and rich cocoa powder produce a batter that is silky smooth…


And a cake that is rich, dark and dense.  I have made this recipe as a bundt cake, as well as cupcakes, but today I decided to make a simple round cake using my springform pan.


A dusting of powdered sugar {mainly for visual interest in my opinion} and a dollop of lightly flavored cream {with no added sugar} finish this cake, perfectly.


Click here for the chocolate cake recipe which appears in one of my earlier posts.  The recipe for the Orange~Cinnamon Cream follows but also take a look here for tips on “How To Whip Cream”.

Orange~Cinnamon Cream {adapted from From The Kitchen}

  • ½ pint heavy whipping cream
  • finely grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  1. Chill a whisk, a bowl and the cream in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove items from freezer and immediately place the cream into the chilled bowl.  Using the chilled whisk, whip the cream until it starts to emulsify or thicken up.  Add the orange zest, cinnamon and vanilla bean seeds and continue to whisk the cream until soft peaks begin to form.  A tip from Food52: After the cream starts to fluff up, flip your whisk upside down while it still has whipped cream on it — if the cream just barely slouches back onto itself, you’re done. If your peaks get any stiffer than this, you’re on your way to butter.
  3. Serve the cream alongside slices of chocolate cake.


Thank You All For A Wonderful First Year!

K Initial

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