Chocolate, orange and almond cake

Chocolate, orange and almond cake

By
From
The Tivoli Road Baker
Makes
1 large loaf
Photographer
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

This decadent moist chocolate cake always gets a good response – the rich brown colour and caramelised almond crust on top draws people in. And once they’ve tried it, they always come back for more.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Almond topping

Quantity Ingredient
50g butter, diced
130g soft brown sugar
zest of 1 orange
40g honey
150g flaked almonds

Cake

Quantity Ingredient
170g plain (all-purpose) flour
50g cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
50g cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g butter, soft
340g caster (superfine) sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste)
160g buttermilk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Grease a 9 × 22 × 10 cm (3½ × 8¾ × 4 in) loaf tin and line it with baking paper.
  2. To prepare the almond topping, melt the butter, sugar, orange zest and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Pour the syrup into your prepared tin, then sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the top. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. With the mixer still running on a slow speed, gradually add the egg to the butter mixture a little at a time, ensuring each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Alternate between adding a third of the dry ingredients and a third of the buttermilk to the batter, mixing well between each addition, until all the ingredients have been added and the batter has just come together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that the batter is completely mixed.
  6. Pour the batter into the tin over the almonds and caramel, and bake for 60–70 minutes, until the top is firm to touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then set a wire rack over a tray lined with paper. Invert the still warm cake onto the wire rack then gently lift off the tin, being careful to avoid the caramel, which will still be extremely hot. Leave to cool completely before serving, to allow the almond caramel top to set.

Bakery Notes

  • If the almond topping sticks a bit in the tin or falls off when you invert the cake, you can fix it if you act quickly, before the caramel sets. Use a spoon or spatula to stick it back onto the cake, being careful not to touch the caramel directly, to avoid burning your fingers.

    It’s best to use a serrated knife to slice this cake, as the top sets quite firm. Gently saw through the almond topping to avoid squashing the cake. It will keep well for a few days in an airtight container.
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