Steamed ‘Aranciotto’ orange and chocolate pudding

Steamed ‘aranciotto’ is a really unusual dessert which should be made when the season is just right for oranges and they are wonderfully juicy, flavourful and fragrant. Just gather together one or two other ingredients, such as biscuits, along with the usual things we always have in the store cupboard such as milk, eggs, sugar and so on. You can make this dish with any suitable piece of equipment you have to hand, whether the traditional steaming basket, a dedicated steamer, a food processor that has a steaming function, or anything else that works. Make it when you’re having a dinner party with friends, the perfect opportunity to try this exquisite steamed dessert for the first time! A fun idea would be to give everyone a spoon and eat it together seated around a table. Or, if you prefer to be more traditional, slice it and serve on individual plates, perhaps accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a good homemade liqueur - perhaps even orange liqueur!


  • Savoiardi sponge fingers 150 grams
  • sugar 100 grams
  • milk 180 millilitres
  • eggs 4 units
  • oranges 2 units
  • liqueur A tablespoon of Grand Marnier
  • butter For the mould
  • sugar For the mould
90 minutes Total time
60 minutes Active time
Serves 8 persons
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Heat the milk, bringing it just to a boil. Blitz the Savoy sponge fingers in a blender, sift the crumbs into a bowl, blitz those that remain again before finally sifting these too into the bowl. Sift the cocoa powder on top of the biscuit crumbs and then add 100g of sugar and the grated zest of an orange. Pour in the milk little by little, stirring all the time and then let the mixture cool. Stir the eggs into the mixture one by one. Butter a 22cm mould with high sides, sprinkle in some sugar, and then pour in the mixture. Place the mould in a large saucepan into which you have added water so that it comes half way up the sides of the mould. When the water starts to boil, cover the mould with a small lid and lower the heat until it’s just simmering. Cook the cake for 45-60 minutes then do the toothpick test – it should come out clean. Meanwhile squeeze the juice from the second orange, pour the juice into a pan, add 50g of sugar and 5 cl of water, and heat until it has formed a syrup. Peel the first orange from which you took the zest, cut into slices and remove any seeds. Put the orange slices into the pan with the syrup and cook for 5 minutes or until the orange slices become shiny. Shortly before removing from the heat, flavour it with orange liqueur. Remove the orange slices from the syrup and set aside. Turn out the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool. Decorate the aranciotto with orange slices and pour the syrup all around it.

When working with the citrus fruit zest, such as lemon or orange, but also with mandarins and clementines, always take care not to use the white part, or pith. It is bitter and indigestible.
Aranciotto is a dessert specialty from Sicily, a region famous for its delicious oranges that are the envy of the world. And in the town of Cefalù (PA) there is a town called Aranciotto.

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