The cake turned out fantastic - not too sweet, not too chocolatey, but definitely with the orange flavour coming through. And best of all, the orange flavour was real - no zest, no juice, no essence, but rather two whole real oranges! For those who don't have a food processor, don't let it stop you. I made it in my blender, and yes, it was a little troublesome but it wasn't at all difficult.
2 whole oranges, skin still on
200g almond meal
250g caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of bicarb
Choc Orange Ganache
1 block of good quality eating chocolate - I used Lindt
1 cup thickened cream
1 shot of Cointreau
1. Bring a pot of water, with the two whole oranges, to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2 hours.
2. Drain, let the oranges cool and then roughly chop.
3. Grease and line a 20cm round springform cake tin and preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
4. Put the oranges in the food processor (or a blender if you don't have a processor!) and process until smooth.
5. Add the egg, almond meal, sugar, bicarb, baking powder and cocoa and continue to process until all ingredients thoroughly mixed.
6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 mins, cover the top with foil to prevent burning and bake for a remaining 15 minutes.
7. Let it cool completely in the tin before turning out and icing.
8. For the icing, break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl.
9. Heat the cream in a pan on the stove, bring to the boil but immediately take it off the heat when it has done so, pouring onto the chocolate.
10. Let the cream stand for 2 -3 mins and then start stirring. Continue to stir until all the chocolate is melted and smooth.
11. Add the Cointreau at the end, mix thoroughly, and then ice the cake!
Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the baking process or the finished product as I was in such a rush! However, here are some of my observations, hints and tips:
- The cake will rise during the baking process but will collapse to form a dense cake when cooling - I was surprised by this but it turned out perfectly!
- If any of the top burns, trim with a serrated knife before icing.
- 1 hour was the perfect baking time - it resulted in a cake that was dense but still very moist, probably helped by the fact that there were two whole oranges in there!
- Dark chocolate probably tastes better in the ganache. As my brother is a milk chocolate advocate, I had to use milk but my personal preference would have been to use dark!
- Decorate with trimmed orange peel or crushed Jaffa chocolates, or even segments of the Orange D'Anvers chocolate (available from supermarkets).
I was most pleased by the orange flavour that came through - it was something quite special, and could not have been adequately replicated by the use of juice, zest or essence. This really is a very easy recipe, and perfect for gluten free indulgences as it is flour free. Highly recommended... and perhaps this means I should reconsider my stance on Nigella? ;-)