Chocolate, orange and brazil nut cake

A magnificent cake from James Martin - moist, nutty and deliciously flavoured with citrus, with an optional creamy chocolate coating
By James Martin
Chocolate, orange and brazil nut cake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 10-12 slices
  • Cook Time: 1.3333333333333333 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 5 small oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 300 g shelled brazil nuts
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice

For the chocolate ganache (optional):

  • 350 g grated dark chocolate
  • 350 ml double cream


1. Wipe the fruit well and put in a large saucepan 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 necessary.

2. Remove the fruit from the pan and leave to cool for 20 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

4. Spread out the nuts on a baking tray. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes until pale golden. Chop roughly, then tip into a food processor and grind to a fine powder.

5. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/gas 3. Grease a 25cm springform cake tin.

6. Cut the fruit in half and remove the seeds - don't remove the peel though. Put everything in a food processor.

7. Add the nuts, sugar, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon and allspice, and purée for 30 seconds. Scrape the purée from the sides of the bowl. Process for another 20 seconds until you have a thick batter.

8. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean - the cake should be quite moist.

9. Leave to cool in the tin. When cold, remove the cake from the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Leave to sit for a few hours before eating.

10. To make the chocolate ganache, melt the grated chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of boiling water. Stir in the double cream, then spread the mixture over the cold cake.

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