Dessert, Gluten Free | February 8, 2015 | By

so so orangey. this is the chocolate version of the whole orange cake  made with fructose.

orange cakes

This is the kind of cake that I like. It’s not all fussed up with cream and decoration, it uses entire fruit skin and all, it is not over-sweet, it uses nuts in place of flour, it improves after a couple of days – in short it is more than the sum of its parts. The cake recipe is adapted from a Claudia Roden recipe for a Sephardic Jewish orange cake and wows with its bitter orange/marmalade taste and for sensitive souls it happens to be gluten free too. 

INGREDIENTS for a circular 20cm cake tin


  • 1 orange plus the juice it was boiled in (I’ve sometimes boiled them dry and when that happens as long as you haven’t cremated the thing its fine to add a little boiled water – approx 100ml)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 125g Ground almonds (I blitz them in a blender and I often use almonds with the skins on)
  • 35g good quality  cocoa powder/ 30g polenta (“malai”)
  • 120g Sugar  or 100g Fructose or 100ml honey or 100ml agave syrup but you need to increase the almonds a little as this is quite a liquid mix to begin with.  Note that if you do make your mixture a little too wet you can add a tablespoon of rice flour or cornflour.


IMG_4011Wash and boil the orange unpeeled, in water to cover for 1 hour or until it is very soft. Let cool then cut open, remove the pips and turn into a puree in a food processor adding the water that is left from the cooking pan – approx. 100ml of cooking juice.

IMG_4009Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until they are foamy. Really do keep whisking until they leave a trail from the beater.


Fold in carefully, so as to just amalgamate the ingredients but not knock out all the air from the mixture. Pour into a cake tin with a removable base that you have buttered or oiled.

Bake in a preheated moderately hot 160C convection/ 180C non convection oven for about 1 hour. Check by inserting a skewer – it should come out clean. If it is still very wet, leave it in the oven for a little longer. Cool in the tin before turning out.

(I once was in a hurry and turned it out when it was still hot, burnt my fingers and dropped the entire creation on the floor…so please people! “do as I say not as I do.”)

To Decorate

I like the cake as it is but for a special occasion it is splendid to cover in chocolate ganache and decorate with orange confit slices. I made a birthday cake like this for somebody who didn’t want an over sweet cake and it was very popular.

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