So here it is, my first blog post! What better way than to start with cake?
This cake recipe has been loosely based upon my Daddy’s favourite cake, a moist orange flavoured sponge covered in dark chocolate – a family recipe passed down from his aunts and an all round family favourite. Unlike the traditional version that was full of sugar, gluten and dairy this cake is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free but also super delicious.
I used sweet and juicy blood oranges for this cake as I was lucky enough to catch some of the last of the season when I first made it and took the pictures, however, standard oranges work just as well. The basic sponge recipe was based with buckwheat flour – a naturally gluten free alternative which has a nutty earthy aroma and unlike white flour has not been drained of all nutrients and fibre. Ground almonds add an extra bite to the cake and a little extra protein to avoid a too greater spike in blood sugar levels. In regards to fat I switched out butter with coconut oil, a yummy heat stable dairy free substitute rich in medium chain fatty acids which (fun fact here) have the ability to aid weight loss!
In place of sugar I used coconut sugar which is the nectar collected from the flowers of the coconut tree (I just love the thought of climbing up a palm tree to collect such a beautiful sweet nectar..) If, like me, you are unable to climb a tree to collect your own it is wildly available in health food stores and online as well as in some supermarkets now. The coconut sugar gives the cake a sweet and slightly caramel flavour and unlike white sugar that supplies our body with only empty calories (that in turn use up our nutrient resources to produce energy without replenishing them) coconut sugar is in an unrefined state therefore containing naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and fibre. Not to say you should go crazy for the stuff and eat it all day long, it is still sugar even if it is a healthier option – however with almost half the GI of white sugar, for a treat, to satisfy that cake craving it’s a great option!
Anyway, enough about the cake, go and try it for yourself, its super yummy and great with a cup of tea!
For the cake
- 100g coconut oil
- 50g coconut sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- Zest of 2 organic oranges
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
- Juice of 1 orange
For the syrup:
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 dessert spoonful maple syrup
For the chocolate:
- 3 dessert spoonfuls of coconut oil (melted)
- 1 dessert spoonful of maple syrup
- 3 dessert spoonfuls of raw cacao powder
- Melt the coconut oil and whisk together with the coconut sugar and eggs until small air bubbles appear
- Add the zest of 2 oranges, ground almonds, buckwheat flour and bicarbonate of soda and combine
- Mix in the juice of an orange to loosen mixture and add into a greased or lined tin (appox 20cm in diameter)
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for around 35 minutes (or until the cake is nicely golden and springy to touch)
- Whilst the cake is cooking in a bowl mix together the juice of an orange and the maple syrup to create the syrup
- Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and place of a plate to cool
- Whilst the cake is still warm use a skewer to pierce holes around the cake and pour the syrup mixture over so it can become nicely absorbed
- In a bowl combine the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and raw cacao powder to create the chocolate chocolate drizzle
- Using a spoon drizzle the chocolate over the cake and leave to set in a cool place for around 15 minute