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 ALL the trees 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, plus it's healthier.
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.
Recipe challenge mania: I realise this is perfect for entering Choclette's We Should Cocoa challenge(Chocolate and Orange this month), yay it's the first time I'm doing something chocolate. And if they don't mind me being sneaky here, also Karen and Kate's Teatime Treats (Christmas Bake). I was slightly chuffed that I couldn't take part in Dom's Random Recipes this month because I had no cookbook to even choose to give away to charity, though I did give away Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone, which mentioned a rich chocolate cake Hagrid gave to Harry on his birthday, if that counts... but I'm probably pushing it. Ok enough.