Orange alert

Desserts that make the most of the citrus fruit when it is at its best. Photographs: Harry Weir

 

VANESSA’S WAY ... ORANGE CHOCOLATE TORTE

This recipe is for anyone who adores a Terry’s chocolate orange. It was inspired by a Cooks Academy student named Séamus, who introduced us to his version of this magnificent chocolate torte.

It’s dark and dense if you use 55 per cent cocoa solids chocolate, or sweet and mousse-like if you use 36 per cent cocoa bars such as Bourneville.

In either case it is deliciously rich, and a little goes a long way.

GARY’S WAY ... ORANGE CURD PAVLOVA WITH SCORCHED ORANGE CREAM

Two people spring to mind when I see oranges. One would be my late grandfather Duncan, and Phonsie, who built my house just a few years ago.

I rarely saw Duncan without an orange in his hand and as I was always hungry I used to drive him mad as I was always asking him for half of whatever he was eating. He wasn’t long in giving me the nicknames The Grey Crow or The Magpie. Whichever name he could blurt out first.

Phonsie, on the other hand, drove me mental while he was building my house. He seemed to think that orange skins melted into the ground, so he’d no problem throwing them around the site. They don’t, as it turns out, but as he was a good skin, I often brought him a big catering box to keep him fuelled.

Most of us are fans of meringue, so I’ve paired the oranges here with a big gooey pavlova, used the juice to flavour the curd and scorched some segments to fold through crème Chantilly and decorate the pavlova.

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