Orange, Almond, Ginger and Bitter Chocolate Cake

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A gluten free cake using ground almonds and polenta in place of flour. It keeps well and is a good cake for a crowd. It can also be served as a dessert, thin wedges with oranges in syrup.

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Serves 8-10


  • 200g lightly salted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 3 medium eggs
  • Grated zest of 3 oranges
  • Juice and bits of half an orange
  • 75g medium polenta
  • 0.5 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp cream of tartar
  • 50g chopped mixed peel
  • 60g crystallised stem ginger, or drained ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
  • 80g 100% bitter chocolate, roughly chopped


This is a shallow cake and is baked in a 10” (26cm) lined tin. Rayburn setting 160oC mark 3 – use the cold plain shelf for the 2 oven model to create the baking oven.

Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat the eggs and gradually add to the mixture.

Add the orange zest and juice and mix well. Fold in the polenta, baking powder and cream of tartar, and then fold in the ginger, mixed peel and chocolate pieces.

Once this has all been mixed together, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and place on a grid shelf on the floor of the Baking Oven for approximately 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and turn the avoid scorching and if necessary, move to the Simmering Oven for the final 10-15 minutes.

Test with a skewer for readiness, cool in the tin and store for 24 hours to allow the cake to settle.

Tip: For an extra bit of gloss, brush the cooling cake with orange liqueur.


By Penny Webb

AGA Demonstrator

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