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.
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.