Gosh this cake is good! I’d seen this recipe before but always thought that including the whole oranges, skins included, would make it rather bitter. But I stand corrected. Nigella was right – it’s a triumph!
- 2 medium size oranges (try to choose thin skinned ones, rather than the ones with very thick skins)
- 1 bar of dark 70% chocolate ( I must confess this is my addition but it adds to the decadence nicely)
- 6 medium free range eggs
- 1 cup golden caster sugar ( I reduced the sugar by ½ a cup - the added chocolate makes up for it)
- 2 cups ground almonds (I did come across a version where Nigella uses ground hazelnuts, but ground almonds are a lot easier!)
- ⅔ cup best quality cocoa (I increased the cocoa a little, use ½ cup if you want a milder taste)
- 1 heaped tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- To make this cake you will need a food processor and a 8' spring-form lined baking tin.
- Simmer the oranges in water in a saucepan for 2 hours. Make sure the water covers them and top up if necessary.
- Although this seems a bit of a bother, you really don't have to do anything to them, and the wonderful orangey perfume makes it so worthwhile.
- hours later they should look soft and a bit squidgy. Allow them to cool for a while and then cut them gently in half and carefully remove any visible pips before placing them in the food processor to make the pulp.
- If you don't have a food processor you could use a liquidiser and then just whisk up the rest of the ingredients by hand if you're feeling energetic.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Pulse the oranges into a smooth pulp, and then add all the other ingredients together, giving them a good whizz to make sure they're nicely blended.
- Now pour the chocolatey batter into the prepared tin and bake in a moderate oven at 180 degrees. It's done in around 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the edges start to come away from the tin.
- Allow the cake to cool before removing from the tin, and then dust lightly with icing sugar and serve with freshly sliced oranges.
Although you do need to simmer the oranges for a couple of hours in advance, it has to be one of the easiest cakes to make ever, taking less than five minutes to whizz up in the food processor and just pour into a lined cake tin for baking. It also has the added benefit of being gluten free if you’re avoiding wheat because it uses ground almonds and cocoa powder instead.
The resulting cake is moist, nutty and wonderfully orangey with a good chocolate kick. It ticks all the boxes, being both easy and quick to make and irresistibly delicious.