Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Flourless Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cake

One thing I left out from my Spain post, was the desserts and sweets. I don't have a massive sweet tooth, so I often favour the savoury. I don't think anyone noticed, because Spain doesn't exactly come to mind when you think of sweets, and Spanish treats don't seem to go beyond churros dipped in hot chocolate.

We did have quite a few nibbles of their candies and cakes, and what's most different about them is that they are quite often made with almonds instead of flour, probably because it's one of their major produce. Another is the orange. When we first arrived in Seville, our mouths literally dropped when we realised that every single tree on the streets had oranges growing on them. We didn't know if we could pluck them, but we picked a fallen one from the ground, and giggling excitedly, washed it and ate it (it was sour).

Anyway, all that- the chocolate, the almonds, the orange- got me inspired to try making Nigella Lawson's flourless chocolate orange almond cake, which has rave reviews from almost everyone who has tried it. I tweaked it a little, added a bit of ginger for that Christmassy spice and a bit of Asian character, and used unrefined muscavado sugar instead for a deeper caramel-sweetness and colour.

Flourless Chocolate Orange and Ginger Cake
Makes a 6" round cake (I halved the original recipe, so you can double and do an 8" one)
1 small orange, about 200g (haha mine was really from Spain)
3 free range eggs, lightly beaten
100g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
125g light muscavado sugar
4 tbsp of good cocoa powder
1 tsp of grated fresh ginger

1. Put the whole orange in a pot with some water, bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain, and cut in half to remove the seeds when cool, then pulp everything- skin, pith and all.

2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
3. Mix in everything else. You can do it in the food processor too.

4. Pour into a greased, lined 6" cake tin. Bake for about 45 minutes, you may need slightly longer or shorter depending on your oven so check at about 30 min to see if you need to cover with foil to prevent the top from burning.

You'll see mine cracked on top ): I don't know why, but it still tasted good so I didn't mind, I just sliced from the centre for the photo taking hehe.

5. Leave the cake to cool before slicing. I also just brushed the top with some honey for a easy prettier glaze. And this is optional but it's lovely served with some cream(preferably grassfed, full-fat).

It's the easiest cake I've ever made, there's no creaming of butter or whipping of egg whites etc. In fact, I realise there's no butter in this, nor is there gluten or dairy, or refined sugar in my version. Healthy cakes shouldn't taste quite as good, but this is deliciously chocolatey, with the fragrance of orange and slight spice from ginger. I hate airy chiffon-style cakes so I really liked that it's so moist, oh but at the same time, it's surprisingly quite light and not too rich you feel like you're eating a bar of chocolate shaped like a slice of cake, as many chocolate tortes are.


  1. No fair - first Sissi with her Guinness Gingerbread and now you with this! :( I wants some! Beautiful looking cake Shuhan - so moist and dark and sticky yumyums! :)


  3. Dom is a big softie - you might just get away with it!!!!

    Delicious looking cake - the texture looks just perfect. I'd love the ginger in there.

  4. This cake is simply divine!!
    Merry Christmas

  5. Your cake looks so Christmasy with oranges and almond and chocolate... Maybe I should consider making it at last minute since I have practically finished my Guinnes cake ;-)
    I also don't have a very sweet tooth, but certain desserts are irresistible, like this one. The photos are terrific! Merry Christmas!

  6. That looks like a wonderfully moist cake and such great flavors together as well!

  7. charles: sissi's guiness gingerbread looked so amazing i agree! all for moist dark sticky ;)

    al son del mortero: thank you!!

    the owl wood: thanks!

    brownieville girl: heh I don't know if I'll be a big bully then if I do get away with it.

    manu: thanks, merry xmas!!

    diddi: it's a great last mintute cake if you do decide to do it though, almost zero effort involved! have you really already finished your guiness cake?! darn it must be even better than it looks.

    sylvie: thanks, can't go wrong with chocolate usually anyway haha.

  8. This looks like a nice combination! I wonder how it would taste like. I've been eating a lot of sweet stuff recently, soaking in the festive season ambience and all- gotta stop. :(

  9. shuqi: it's actually just like a very moist, but light cake. a bit lana style. haha really, i thought we don't really celebrate xmas at home? you mean with friends/at your workplace?

  10. Wow...this cake is sublime & what an amazing combination with fresh ginger. I'm certainly going to try this recipe. Well, I'm a huge fan of chocolates *^

  11. a very healthy cake indeed! Happy New Year 2012 to you.

  12. I do like a good almond cake and this sounds really good. That added touch of ginger to the orange and chocolate is a brilliant addition. Thanks for participating in WSC and sorry it's taken me so long to get around to you.

  13. i: i can tell you're a choc lover, I just hopped over to your blog too and that gorgeous black forest cake was the first thing i saw ;) great, I hope you try this out and let me know how it went!

    sonia: Happy new year too!

    choclette: thank you! no worries, I'm glad you posed the challenge and got me to try this out!