Tuesday, 14 October 2014

GBBO The Final: Gluten Free Chocolate, Almond and Orange Cake

The Great British Bake Off Final - Chocolate Almond and Orange Cake Recipe

So we reached the end of another series of the Great British Bake Off, and although I was very much Team Richard, I have to say that Nancy was certainly the most impressive in the final- if constructing an edible, moving windmill isn't enough to win then I don't know what is! 

Each week I've tried to bake something that's appeared on the show, but this week I decided to go completely away from their bakes- if you read my Baking Bloopers post you'll know that choux pastry is not my friend at the moment, so the thought of a showstopper crouqembouche was not a pleasant one! Instead I got out my copy of Cake by Rachel Allen and flicked through in search of something gluten free and worthy of the GBBO Final. This is an adaptation of her Chocolate, Almond and Rum cake.

I swapped the rum for orange and this tastes like a cake version of a Terry's Chocolate Orange. It's made with ground almonds rather than flour, plus a bit of creme fraiche to keep it moist, so it's got a much denser consistency than a sponge cake, rather more like a torte. It's incredibly chocolately but using dark chocolate stops it from being too sickly sweet. Rachel Allen describes her version as elegant and sophisticated, and I'm going to agree with her on that!

Seeing as this was GBBO Final night, I decided I might as well go all out when it came to presentation on this cake, and rather than just the chocolate glaze in the original recipe, I decided to add a bit of white chocolate piping and some candied orange slices. Usually I like to think I'm a pretty modest person, but I can't help telling you how proud I am of myself for producing this- and you might as well pull off the best cake of your life on the final week! I don't have a great track record with gluten free cakes- I tend to massively undercook them- but I was patient with this one and didn't panic when it came out the oven with a very clearly undercooked centre. I popped a bit of tinfoil over it and left it for a good hour before icing it.

I tweeted a picture of this cake on the night and fulfilled my life goal of getting a retweet from @BritishBakeOff, which resulted in my phone going non-stop with notifications- I've never felt so special! So for anyone who'd like to give this a try, I'm sharing the recipe here:

Recipe for Chocolate, Almond & Orange Cake

For the cake:
225g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
225g ground almonds
250g golden caster sugar
150g softened butter (plus extra for greasing)
6 eggs
 1 orange
2tbsp crème fraiche

For the glaze and decoration:
75ml double cream
125g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
50g white chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 orange
50g caster sugar + 2tbsp for sprinkling
125ml water

A 20cm diameter spring-form cake tin

To make the cake:

1. Grease the sides of your cake tin and line the bottom with a circle of baking paper. Prepare the ingredients for the cake, then preheat the oven to 170°c. 

2. Melt the dark chocolate in a pan over a saucepan of simmering water then set aside to cool.

3. Put the almonds, sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl and combine using a wooden spoon until everything is evenly mixed and there are no lumps. (You could use a food processor, but I don't have one).

4. Beat the eggs in a clean bowl, then add to the almond mixture and stir in will. Add the zest from the orange, the crème fraiche and the melted chocolate, then mix everything together. I used a handheld mixer to finish this off- it only needs a few seconds and will become thick and mousse-like.

5. Put the cake mixture into the tin and cook for 35-40 minutes. It will puff up to the top of the tin and the top will start to look cracked. As I said, getting the centre of gluten free cakes to cook fully can be quite tricky so it might take slightly longer depending on your oven.

6. Take the cake out of the oven and cool in the tin for 20 to 30 minutes. If the centre looks a bit runny still, cover with a bit of tin foil and wait an extra 10-15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen it from the edges if necessary, then transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, turn upside down onto a serving plate so that you have a smooth top to glaze.

To make the candied oranges:

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of caster sugar. Slice an orange into slices of about 5mm thick and cut them in half. Add the rest of the caster sugar to a large saucepan, then pour in 125ml of water and bring to the boil. Add the orange slices and carrying on boiling for 5 minutes- you may need to turn over the slices during this time. Turn down the heat and simmer for another 20 minutes, turning the slices occasionally. When they start to go see-through but are still soft, take them out and lay them on the sugar baking paper. Let them cool fully, then sprinkle another tablespoon of caster sugar over them.

To make the chocolate glaze:

You can make the chocolate glaze while the cake cooks, but I think it's best to do it just before you ice the cake so you don't have to reheat the mix. Pour the cream into a saucepan, taking it off the heat when it reaches the boil. Add the dark chocolate. You could also add a couple of tablespoonfuls of orange juice from the orange you used the zest from in the cake. Everything should come together to form a stiff, shiny mixture. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Use a knife or spatula to spread an even layer of the chocolate glaze on the top of the cake. Pipe a spiral of white chocolate on top. I used a square of baking paper to make a piping bag. Take a cocktail stick and drag from the centre of the cake outwards to create the pattern. Finally add the orange slices.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but actually this isn't a complicated cake! There's no need to rush any of it- the cake needs time to cool down, and melted chocolate will stay molten for a while, plus you can always reheat it. Let me know if you attempt this cake, I'd love to know what you think of the flavour!


Slice of homemade chocolate, almond and orange cake. Recipe on Ginevrella

Ingredients for homemade chocolate, almond and orange cake

Melted chocolate for homemade chocolate, almond and orange cake recipe

Chocolate, almond and orange cake recipe

Homemade chocolate, orange and almond cake

Baking chocolate, almond and orange cake

Cake mix for homemade chocolate, almond and orange cake recipe

Candied oranges for homemade chocolate, almond and orange cake recipe

Chocolate, almond and orange cake homemade

Chocolate, almond and orange cake recipe

Recipe for homemade gluten free chocolate, almond and orange cake for Great British Bake Off Final



  1. This cake looks lovely, nice work :)

    Segs Benedict

  2. I love how you always make time for baking! This turned out well, good one on getting that retweet!

    1. Thank you! Haha, I need to remember that I do actually have a degree to fit in alongside all this baking and cooking!

  3. It looks great! Good job. I totally understand why you wouldn't bake along with the final week - they were so impressive! I baked cookies to mark the occasion and they turned out well :) x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

    1. I think baked goods are absolutely essential for watching the Bake Off- sad it's finished now though! x

  4. I am so jealous of your decorating skills here Jennifer, this looks amazing! Chocolate and orange is such a winning combination so I bet it tasted delicious. I'm going to miss seeing your GBBO bakes every week, I hope this isn't the end of your baking :) x

    1. Haha, if only you'd seen how much my hands were shaking as I decorated this- the better it was going, the more nervous I got! I very much intend on keeping up the baking as much as I can :) x

  5. A cake version of Terry's chocolate orange... This sounds like an actual dream. And it's so beautifully decorated! I really want to try making candied oranges now they look so good!

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

    1. It went down very well with my housemates, so I think that confirms it tasted pretty good! I'd never made candied oranges before, but they're actually pretty simple and make a great addition :)

  6. This looks delicious! I hope that just because the GBBO is over, that you don't quit baking. I love reading about your baking treats! :)

    1. Aww thank you! Don't worry, I'll be carrying on with the baking as much as I can around my uni work! :) x

  7. This cake is almost too beautiful to eat -- almost. I would absolutely munch on this given the chance. Chocolate & orange are a match made in heaven. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼ ☯

    1. Haha, I have to say we didn't waste any time in digging into it so it was a good job I got a few photos to remember how it looked!

  8. That looks amazing - bookmarking this recipe for future reference! xx


    1. Thank you! Do let me know if you ever try it out xx

  9. This looks so delicious! I need to get in on the GBBO because I've never watched it but everyone always goes on about it.

    Corinne x

    1. Haha, I don't know how you've managed not to watch it- a whole show about yummy food is not to be missed! :) x

  10. Yummy! I love chocolate oranges so I might have to add this to my "to-bake" list! :) x

    1. Let me know if you give it a go! :) x

  11. This looks amazing! I'd love a slice or two right now. Maybe 4 or 5!
    Love it x

    Sisley sewwhite.com x

  12. Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! Given my track record with baking I don't think I'll ever be able to attempt it but I am a huge fan of the chocolate orange combination!!

    Heather x


    1. Baking is just all about practice! The flavours of this one mean it would probably taste great even if it doesn't quite look right :) x


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