Boiled Orange & Brazil Nut Cake (With or Without Chocolate Ganache)

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

This cake is easy to make and keeps moist for a long time. Also, it’s wheat- and dairy-free, which means we are able to surprise dietarily-restricted diners at the restaurant with that rare treat for them - a dessert. I first made it in 1983, in Melbourne, when the recipe was given to me by a great chef friend. Brie (real name Mareesa Mayne). She was working with an Egyptian chef who gave her his mother’s favourite cake recipe. So it’s with many thanks that I pass on to you my version of her version of his version of a Middle Eastern mother’s orange cake.



  • 3 medium-size oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 250g (9oz) caster sugar
  • 300g (11oz) finely ground, lightly toasted Brazil nuts
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

Chocolate Ganache

  • cups grated bitter chocolate
  • cups double cream, straight from the fridge


Wipe the fruit well and place in a pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer briskly with the lid on for 20 minutes, topping up with hot water if the fruit isn’t floating. Remove from the pan and cool for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F/Gas 3-4. Cut the boiled fruit in half and remove seeds, then place in a food processer, skin and all. Add the remaining ingredients and purée for 30 seconds; wipe the sides of the bowl back into the mix and purée for another 20 seconds. Pour the thick batter into a spring-form cake tin and bake for about 50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes by inserting a thin knife into the cake. It may come out with a tiny bit of batter, but so long as it is cooked batter you are all right – remember, this is a moist cake! Remove from the oven and, when cool, take from the cake tin and leave to sit for a few hours before eating.

This cake is delicious enrobed with chocolate ganache. Gently melt the grated bitter chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water. Stir in the double cream and spread on the cold cake.