chocolate orange torte.

i have a penchant for combining chocolate and orange.

i’m convinced they’re meant to be together. like star-crossed lovers. soulmates. you know, all that jazz.

Passover is next week, which means bidding flour and leavened goods a fond farewell for a week. a week without traditional baking? in this house? it’s going to be interesting.

luckily, there are plenty of delicious treats to be made without the help of any flours or chemical leaveners. desserts that are delicious, satisfying, and a welcome addition to any seder table.

trust me, this flourless chocolate orange torte is heads and shoulders above those tough, chewy canned macaroons (the horror!) that i’ve encountered year after year at Passover. canned macaroons, really? we can do better than that.

there’s a lot of chocolate in this torte, and only a slight amount of orange. yet the brightness of the orange isn’t hidden or masked here; rather, it shows off quite nicely.

if you’re planning to serve this torte at your seder, using orange liqueur or even vanilla extract is completely up to your discretion. there are some families who shun any type of grain alcohol during Passover, and others who are a bit more relaxed when it comes to this rule. do what makes you comfortable!

also, feel free to make substitutions for these items, such as adding extra orange zest, or using a whole vanilla bean in lieu of the extract.

this torte is extremely rich, so a small slice should satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. i baked mine in a 9-inch pan, and easily got 16 small slices out of it, so this is perfect for a crowd.

or, it’s perfect to horde the extra as leftovers. which is a perfectly decent, acceptable thing to do. which is exactly how we roll here. shhhh.

i serve my torte with a bowl of freshly whipped, ever-so-slightly sweetened cream for my guests to dollop atop their slices as they see fit.

this torte is a lovely dessert to serve for Passover, and i think it would be equally happy atop the table for Easter as well. hell, i’d honestly eat this any day of the week!

flourless chocolate orange torte

Yield: 14-16 slices

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

you'll need a large roasting pan for this recipe, in which the torte will cook gently in a hot water bath.

also, make sure that your ingredients are kosher for Passover!


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chips are fine, if using a bar, chop it roughly)
7 ounces unsalted butter
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
zest of one orange
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (i like grand marnier)
scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract
cocoa powder, for dusting
hot water, for water bath


preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

butter a 9-inch springform pan, and sprinkle with cocoa powder to coat. tap out the excess.

if the springform pan isn't quite watertight, cover exterior with aluminum foil, and place in the roasting pan.

in a microwaveable bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. microwave in 30-second increments, stirring contents of bowl in between each until chocolate is smooth and melted. set aside.

in a separate bowl, whisk granulated sugar, eggs, and orange zest.

whisk melted chocolate and butter into the sugar mixture until combined.

whisk in the grand marnier.

pour the batter into the springform pan.

pour hot water into the roasting pan so it reaches about the middle of the springform pan.

carefully transfer the pan to the oven.

bake for one hour, or until the torte is set. the center will be slightly jiggly like pudding, but when you touch your finger to the top of the torte, it should come back clean.

allow to cool completely before slicing.

the torte will keep for up to five days refrigerated if stored in an airtight container.

adapted from david lebovitz's chocolate idiot cake

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9 Responses to “chocolate orange torte.”

  1. #
    RJ Flamingo — April 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Love. Gorgeous. I’m speechless. Seriously. Swoon!

  2. #
    jaclyn — April 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    you’re too sweet! thanks so much! :D

  3. #
    Monica — April 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Look at this! wow, I want to take a fork to my computer RIGH NOW! YUM… did you use your new kitchen aid prize?

  4. #
    jaclyn — April 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    thanks! i didn’t use it for this particular dessert, but rest assured, it’s been getting plenty of exercise! :]

  5. #
    kellypea — April 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Love this flavor combo and the rich denseness of that cake. Very nice!

  6. #
    jaclyn — April 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    thank you so much! it’s almost too good to be true!

  7. #
    Kate S. — July 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I just made this for my birthday dinner; it was absolutely wonderful! I found your blog on complete accident (God bless StumbleUpon), and everything looks completely delicious. Thank you for such a simple, easy and (insanely) tasty recipe!

  8. #
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