Flourless orange & chocolate cake

Everyone who eats this deliciously moist cake falls in love with it. This is an easy dessert to prepare ahead and serve with ice-cream, cream or crème fraiche. Or simply enjoy it unadorned with your afternoon cuppa. It will keep well in a sealed container for several days. 

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking and baking time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

2 small oranges — preferably navels, as they don't have seeds 

6 large free range eggs 

200 g finely ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder 

½ tsp bicarbonate soda

55 g good quality cocoa powder 

125 g brown sugar 

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

Pinch of salt 

Cocoa powder and icing sugar, to dust before serving 

Directions:

  1. Place whole oranges in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 1–1 ½ hours until very soft, topping up the water if needed. Alternatively, cover with water and pressure-cook on medium for 15 minutes (following any specific directions for your pressure cooker and for releasing the pressure). Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and allow to cool completely.

  2. Heat your oven to 160°C fan-forced. Grease a spring form cake tin that's approximately 20 cm in diameter and line the base with nonstick baking paper.  

  3. Cut the oranges into quarters, removing any seeds. Place the whole oranges — that's the skin, pith, flesh and all — into a food processor and process until they form a reasonably smooth puree. Add all the remaining ingredients and process again until smooth.

  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40–50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack. Dust with extra cocoa and sieved icing sugar before serving. 

Tips:

As well as tasting amazing, this cake happens to be really good for you: high in protein, healthy fats, minerals and fibre from the almonds, more protein from the eggs, rich in antioxidants from the cocoa, and quite low in sugar compared with many cakes.

And because it's naturally free from wheat and dairy products, it makes a great option when cooking for friends or family who have special dietary needs. 

Recipe developed by award-winning cook and food writer Andrea Ball