food, Recipes

Bitter chocolate cake



For the cake

200g raw cane sugar

250g ground almonds

3 eggs

Grated zest of 3 oranges

Juice of ½ orange

75g medium-ground polenta

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp cream of tartar

50g candied orange peel, roughly chopped

60g ginger, preserved in syrup, roughly chopped

80g 100% cacao roughly chopped

(To use 70% cacao dark chocolate, replace the 100% cacao with 115g 70% chocolate and remove 35g of sugar.)

For the syrup

Juice of 2 oranges

2½ tbsp ginger syrup (from the preserved ginger)


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 28cm cake tin (preferably with sloping sides)  and line with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Blend in the ground almonds, followed by the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each one.

Mix in the orange zest and juice, then fold in the polenta flour, baking powder and cream of tartar. Finally, mix in the candied peel, preserved ginger and cacao, keeping back a little of all three to decorate.

Tip the mixture into the prepared tin, smooth the top and sprinkle over the pieces of reserved candied peel, preserved ginger and cacao.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a serving plate.

Prepare the syrup by placing the orange juice and ginger syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook until reduced to about 65ml liquid. While still hot, brush the syrup all over the cake, using a pastry brush. Allow to the syrup glaze to cool completely before serving.

This cake will keep well for just over a week, if kept in a cool place in an airtight container. SERVES 8-10