Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gluten Free Tangerine Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This cake is my first attempt at (intentionally) making a gluten-free dessert. I’m so thankful I don’t have any dietary restrictions but I’m becoming increasingly aware that others aren’t so lucky. Everyone deserves to be able to eat a delicious dessert, though, right?

I decided to make this cake for the second meet up of the ATXSwappers since, in addition to our swap items, we all bring a snack to share with the group. That way we have something to nosh on as we peruse the swap goods and strategize on what to trade and with whom. Since many of the swappers are gluten intolerant, I thought I’d bring a treat that all could enjoy.

The swap was a great success and I think the cake went over well, so all in all, a good night!
Tangerine Cake
adapted from Nigella Lawson

I initially saw this Nigella Lawson recipe on SmittenKitchen’s site. Shortly after I saw the recipe and saved it, I read Like Mother, Like Daughter’s post on orange cake. That cake looked so delicious with a chocolate ganache coating, I just had to pinch the idea. Thanks Ur Mom Cooks! Isn’t everything better with chocolate? Nigella’s recipe called for using clementines. I subbed tangerines because I still had a few of the gorgeous, juicy specimens from Carrizo Springs that I used in the Tangerine Tart I made a few weeks back. Note- this cake is super moist. In fact, I was worried I hadn’t baked it long enough when I first cut into it but I knew that couldn’t be the case since it was in the oven an hour. The moist consistency was a little off-putting to me at first. I got over it by the second slice, though. By the third slice, I decided I quite liked it!

Tangerine Cake
4 to 5 tangerines (approximately 1 pound)
6 eggs
1 c plus 2 T sugar
2 1/3 c ground almonds
1 heaping t baking powder

Chocolate ganache
1 c heavy cream
1-2 T tangerine juice
9 ounces of chopped dark chocolate

1. Put the tangerines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours. Monitor the water level and add additional water as needed. Drain and, when cool, cut each tangerine in half and remove the seeds. Finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in a food processor or by hand.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper as well. If you’re starting with whole nuts, grind the almonds in a food processor and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a wooden spoon to mix and then add the sugar, ground almonds, and baking powder. Mix well and then add the chopped tangerines and mix again to incorporate.
4. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean (start checking it at 40 minutes and keep a close eye on it). Cover the pan with foil if the top of the cake starts to brown too much. Remove from the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a rack. When fully cool, remove the cake from the pan.
5. While the cake is cooling, make the chocolate ganache. Pour the cream and 1-2 tablespoons of tangerine juice into a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Put the chopped chocolate in a small, heat proof bowl. As soon as the cream reaches a simmer, pour it over the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes to melt the chocolate. Then stir the cream and chocolate to combine until it reaches a smooth consistency.
6. Once the cake has cooled and you’ve removed it from the pan, set the cake back on the cooling rack placed over a sheet pan (to catch the over flow) to coat with the chocolate gananche. I left the bottom of the springform pan on because I was transporting my cake. If not, go ahead and remove the pan bottom. The ganache may need to sit for 30 minutes or so to set up to a thicker consistency but be sure it is still liquid when coating the cake so that it pours easily. Pour the ganache over the cake and set aside for 1-2 hours to allow the ganache to set up completely. Do not place the cake in the refrigerator to set the ganache or it will sweat when you serve it and won’t be as attractive. I purposefully didn’t cover the entire cake in ganache to allow the pretty orange color of the cake to peak through.

Nigella’s note: An equal weight of oranges and lemons can be used but increase the sugar to 1 1/4 cups. You can also add a glaze made of confectioners' sugar mixed to a paste with the juice of whatever citrus you’re using and a little water, if needed. She also said she this cake is even better a day after it's made so this is a great one if you need to make something ahead of time for an event.


  1. My new favorite cake and I am not usually a cake person nor am I gluten free-Thank you so much for bringing this delicious cake to the swap. Can't wait to make it next week.

  2. Wow. Stunning! I have heard this cake is sure looks it. Your chocolate ganache makes it perfection. Beautiful job!

  3. Amen. Everything is better with chocolate! Ur cake looks awesome!!! Beautiful picture!

  4. oh yummy! the photos are so pretty too! :)

  5. Tangerine cake sounds really, really, really good! I don't even think that it needs the chocolate at all. Almonds are enough for me. Yum!

  6. This looks so good! I love citrus and chocolate combos. Mmm.

  7. I need to try again with whole cooked citrus that gets pureed for a cake. My one attempt didn't work out so well. This looks fantastic with that glistening chocolate glaze! Obviously, I need to attend the next swap.

  8. Gosh, that looks so good. Now that i see your mouth watering picture I feel like going into the kitchen and making this cake right now!
    *kisses* HH

  9. Thanks all- glad my first foray into gluten-freeness wasn't too scary!

  10. Oh my goodness! This looks incredible!!!

  11. delicious! started my morning drool!

  12. Shelley, love your tangerine cake with almonds...and what a great combination with chocolate ganache...absolutely mouthwatering :-)

  13. What a lovely cake. The flavors you've used must be amazing together. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  14. such a very yummy cake, tomorrow I post a quite similar one
    have a great and nice day