This is a chocolate cake with knobs on: the orange zest and spices give it a Caribbean twist. It’s brilliant after a luxurious supper with some cream am on the side and strong cups of coffee, or served in the afternoon with an icy cold glass of milk.
175g (6oz) blanched almonds
4 large eggs, separated
170g (5¾oz) caster sugar
75g (2¾oz) plain chocolate, grated
zest of 2 unwaxed oranges, finely grated
butter, for the tin
candied orange peel, to decorate
Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a low heat. Watch them all the time as they go from pale to burnt very quickly. Tip into a bowl to cool, then grind them in a food processor. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Beat the egg yolks with half the sugar, using an electric mixer or by hand, until pale and fluffy. In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites, gradually adding the remaining sugar, until soft peaks form.
Stir the almonds, chocolate, orange zest, cinnamon and orange juice into the beaten egg yolks. Mix well. Using a large metal spoon, add a third of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and gently fold in, then fold in the rest. Pour into a buttered and base-lined 20cm (8in) tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
To make the chocolate cream, put the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water). Add the soured cream and sugar and melt everything together. Stir well to combine. Take off the heat and leave to cool and thicken. Spread over the top of the cake with a palette knife and sprinkle over the candied orange peel.