I bought Levi Roots’ Food for Friends cookbook a little while ago on a whim, and I’m so glad I did – every recipe I’ve tried so far has been a resounding success. The recipes are simple, and usually only use a few ingredients, but are packed full of flavour (as you’d expect from a Caribbean chef I suppose!)
The cakes and desserts section is also more extensive than I would have imagined, which is always a good thing in my book.
This chocolate orange spice cake caught my eye, not only because of the delicious combination of flavours but also the fact that it’s gluten and wheat free. Add to that the fact it doesn’t have any butter or oil, and use half fat creme fraiche for the topping, and it’s practically a health food!
I did change it up a bit, using ground almonds rather than toasting and grinding my own, using less of them because I didn’t buy enough, swapping sour cream for the creme fraiche and adding some extra spice to the topping – but I think that just goes to prove it’s a very forgiving recipe!
The cake went down very well when I took it into work, and the pony is now enjoying what’s left of it for his breakfasts. I ma have to sneak one more slice tonight before it’s all gone though…
Chocolate orange spice cake (adapted from Levi Roots’ Food for Friends)
- 75g dark chocolate
- zest of 2 oranges
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 4 eggs, separated
- 170g caster sugar
- 100g ground almonds
For the topping:
- 140g dark chocolate
- 140g half fat creme fraiche
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp hot chilli powder
Start by finely grating the dark chocolate into a bowl (yep, it’s a pain) and add to that the cinnamon and orange zest, then set aside.
Add half of the sugar (85g) to a fairly large bowl with the egg yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture, orange juice and ground almonds and beat again – you will have a pretty thick mixture, a bit like frangipane. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, gradually adding in the remaining 85g caster sugar, until it forms stiff glossy peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture a quarter at a time, making sure it’s well combined but you don’t beat the air out of the air whites. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 8″ round cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour, or until risen and pulling away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool before removing from the tin.
To make the topping, put all the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and heat over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until all the chocolate has melted. Leave to cool for 10 minutes or so, then spread over the top of the cake. Leave to firm up a bit before cutting into slices and serving.