International Chocolate Week

Prompted by the lovely Kirsten at The Pink Rose Bakery, I’m posting this recipe for Jaffa Cake in response to International Chocolate Week, which starts today. I first posted about this cake nearly a year ago, and since then, I’ve made a few slight modifications to both the recipe and the process, but it’s still moist, intensely chocolatey, intensely orangey and altogether delicious. It’s also fairly simple, having only seven quite ordinary ingredients; it’s easy to make, and as a bonus, it’s gluten free.

'Jaffa' cake, lightly dusted with Dutch cocoa and served with a puddle of thick cream. Yum!

It looks like just another brown cake, but your tastebuds will be doing the fandango and begging for more.

You’ll need:
2 navel oranges (they need to be thin skinned, not too much white pith)
200g/7oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more) broken in small pieces
100g/4oz unsalted butter, chopped
8 large eggs (Yes, it’s a lot. Yes, you need them all)
300g/10oz caster/fine sugar
375g/13oz almond meal/ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa (not drinking chocolate, the good stuff – I like the Dutch kind, which is more intense.)

The night before, put the oranges in a deep pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Throw out the water, cool the oranges and refrigerate overnight. They’ll be soft and squishy. Remove the little green stem thingy at the top as this will not contribute to the flavour.

Next day, take the eggs, butter and cooked oranges out of the fridge an hour before you bake, to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180C/325F/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 24cm/9″ springform or loose bottom cake pan with baking parchment.

Cut up the 2 oranges, put in a blender or food processor and blitz till puréed. You don’t want to see any chunks of peel.

Using a stand mixer – or electric hand mixer – with paddle attachment, beat the caster sugar and eggs together on high for 5 minutes until thick and pale and the mixture ‘ribbons’. (This is when a trail is left when you dribble a bit of the mixture across the surface).

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Be very careful not to allow any water into the chocolate mixture or it will seize.  Alternatively, (and this is how I do it) melt them in the microwave in three lots of 30 seconds on full power. When melted, mix together thoroughly so there’s no visible butter left, and set aside to cool a little.

Add the chocolate and butter, almond meal and cocoa to the egg mixture, and mix on low speed till combined. Fold in the orange purée with a spoon or spatula – do not beat or you’ll knock the air out of it.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 45-60 minutes, or till a knife or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean (it’s going to depend on how hot your oven is). If the top starts to brown too soon, put a layer of foil over it. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool completely.

Dust the top with a little more cocoa.  Serve with lots of whatever artery clogging dairy product takes your fancy. If you’re feeling exceptionally naughty, you could add a couple of tablespoonfuls of Cointreau to the batter before baking, but it’s quite gorgeous enough without.

If you hop over to The Pink Rose Bakery, you’ll see Kirsten’s repertoire of lovely nosh, which is all gluten free.

Chocolate Week Logo


18 thoughts on “International Chocolate Week

  1. This is very similar to my seriously sinful chocolate cake, except I add the sin with a ganache-type topping made from mascarpone, Greek Yogurt, double cream and melted chocolate. The oranges can be confit in the microwave – on high for 20 minutes, with a little water in a covered bowl. I add the water to the cake batter, not to waste the flavour, instead of throwing it away. Jock doesn’t like chocolate with orange (! strange man) and I keep meaning to try the recipe with a different fruit. Any ideas?

    • katechiconi says:

      I prefer not to use the orange water, as I find it a little bitter. How about using raspberries or strawberries with the chocolate if he doesn’t like orange? I think raspberry would be better, the flavour is a little sharper to counteract the richness of the chocolate. The other thing I’d love to try some time is morello cherries, as sour as possible!

  2. tialys says:

    I also have a strange man who doesn’t like orange in his chocolate. I love raspberries with chocolate so that might be good. I’d have to defrost some frozen ones – it’s getting to that time of year! Would they need to be puréed or just chucked in at the same stage as the oranges would have been? What could we call it as ‘Jaffa’ won’t work anymore? Alternatively, I could make it with oranges and he can do without.

    • katechiconi says:

      How about Chocolate Summer Pudding Cake? I’d purée the raspberries slightly to ensure good distribution, otherwise they might clump a bit at the bottom and make it soggy. It’s very rich and moreish, so if you make the orange version, do make sure there’s someone to share it or you’ll end up with a very bloated tummy, unable to slip into those slinky dresses…

  3. claire93 says:

    oooh I didn’t know it was International Chocolate Week this week !!!! I’ll have to go buy some to celebrate ^^

  4. It is chocolate week? As if I needed another excuse!

  5. Kirsten says:

    Sounds like a version of Nigella’s clementine cake, only with chocolate!! Have you got any left? I’m coming over for a slice. Might take me a while though . . .

    • katechiconi says:

      I don’t know Nigella’s clementine cake recipe, but am honoured by the association. I finished up the last slice today; I couldn’t let it go stale…. If you’re coming over, I’ll make one fresh! It’s selling well at the coffee shop I supply, too.

  6. Making this for company today. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • katechiconi says:

      Sorry about the delay replying; WordPress in its infinite wisdom put your comment into Spam, from where I have just rescued it! I’m glad you’re giving the recipe a try, it’s become a bit of a reliable standby for me and never fails to produce appreciative noises.

  7. Jule says:

    Absolutely delicious cake! I made one tonight and had the first slice when it was still a little warm. 🙂 Instead of the navel oranges I used a little bag of grated orange peel (25 g) and 50 ml orange juice, and 400 g almond meal instead of 375 g (the whole of four bags).

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh good, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It sounds as if your version is a good bit less orangey than mine, so if you can, I do urge you to try with the original ingredients to see which you prefer. Two oranges whizzed up in a blender makes a lot more volume than 25g of peel and 50ml of juice. An extra 25g of almond meal is neither here nor there… Eating it warm is the best way, especially if there’s a bit of cream involved…

      • Jule says:

        The orange peel is pretty intense and the cake has a nice orange flavour. Getting untreated and unwaxed oranges would mean a two hour bus ride into town and back, so I decided to pay a visit to the Christmas baking shelf at the supermarket around the corner. 😉

      • katechiconi says:

        Sounds like you’ve made the best use of your most valuable resource: time! Glad you’ve found a solution that works for you 🙂

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