Orange Almond and Chocolate Cakes [gluten free, lactose free]

I made a selection of these cakes last week, star shaped, loaf cakes, muffins and even used the left over batter to make a flattish slice which can also double up as a base for a cheese cake.  Needless to say that the combination of orange, almonds and chocolates makes an incredible flavour but what is also very special is the texture of this cake.  It is very moist and dense but not heavy or rich.

Whole oranges are softened by boiling  and simmering them for an hour and then processed with the rest of the ingredients.  Apart from the hour that is needed to boil the oranges the preparation of this cake takes minutes.

This cake also appeals to a lot of special dietary requirements.  It is gluten free and lactose free.  For a more diabetic friendly recipe, use stevia.

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‘We are now at the beginning of spring and although the skies still appear dull, summer and sunshine are just round the corner.  This is the end of citrus season and and I will miss the bright unwaxed oranges in my kitchen fruit bowl.  This is a lovely cake to make use of any surplus citrus and the recipe also works very well by replacing the oranges with lemons and using coconut instead of ground almonds.

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Maltese and Gozitan oranges come in all shapes, flavours and sizes, blood oranges with bright red flesh that taste very faintly of raspberries, some with big navels and no seeds, bitter Seville oranges brought to the island during Arab rule and in the open rambling countryside, you can find fragrant bergamot oranges that look more like lemons. If you are lucky enough to have citrus trees in your garden, with more fruit than you can possibly eat, the best place to leave the fruit is on the tree until you need to use it.



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