Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jaffa Cake

When i bake a cake, it's all about moistness. Yeah sure lightness is great, richness is important. But for me, i always love a moist cake. As such, 90% of the cakes i make are flourless or have a large amount of the flour reduced. This typically creates a denser, more moist texture to the cake. And this jaffa cake is no exception!
For those who love an oozy rich chocolate cake like a mud cake, move on. Although there is an entire block of dark chocolate in this cake, the orange and almond really take the fore here, with the chocolate adding more of a bitterness to the cake than anything else. 

  • 200gm  dark bitter chocolate
  • 2 oranges (i used blood orange to ensure that they'll be sweet.... can never tell with Valencias)
  • 100gm butter, chopped
  • 8 eggs (buy free range please!)
  • 3 cups almond meal (you'll get a nuttier taste if you roast and grind the almonds yourself, but i didn't this time)
  • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • Cream to serve

A note on Caster Sugar:
In case you didn't know, caster sugar is a finer grain of sugar than the standard sugar we buy. It's got a visible grain so it's powdery like icing sugar, but dissolves much faster in a solution. Hence it is typically used for cakes. There' not too much call for larger grains of sugar so i tend to buy only caster, however it's important to note that if you want to substitute regular sugar for caster sugar, use a weight rather than volumetric measurement as a cup of caster sugar will be different to a cup of regular. Same goes for icing sugar. 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced and line a 22cm (regular size) baking tin.  

Put the oranges whole into a small saucepan and cover with water. Boil for around 1 hour then remove and leave to cool. 

Once cooled enough to handle, cut the orange into pieces and throw into a blender or food processor (or like i did a spice grinder... it died in the middle of this...) and puree into a paste. 
Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (a double boiler is as simple as a bowl placed ontop of a saucepan of boiling water. The idea is that only the steam heats the bowl, do NOT let the water touch the bottom of the bowl) and allow to melt, stirring regularly. Allow to cool slightly.

In a seperate bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until well combined.  

Mix in the almond meal and orange pulp, and then temper in the melted chocolate and butter (if it has cooled enough tempering is not necessary. Tempering is where you add the mixture is small parts to allow the temperature of the egg mixture to rise slowly, preventing the eggs from cooking). 

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and put into the oven for around 1hr 15 minutes. People say to check by inserting a skewer and if it comes out clean it's ready. But because this cake is flourless i don't feel that that works so well. Just give it your best guess; err on the side of a little underbaked because the cake will simply be a mit moister. Unlike flour cakes it will still taste great and have decent texture. 

Dust with extra icing sugar. 

Serve a room temperature with cream. If you want to be fancy, mix some lemon zest into a mixture of 1 part marscapone to 1 part cream.

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