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Mandarin Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

  • Servings6


Mandarin Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

The combination of warm chocolate and the coveted mandarin orange makes this a holiday classic perfect for an intimate dinner party. Almond flour along with hemp hearts deliver healthy fats and protein and keep the cake gluten free and moist, removing the need for any additional oil or butter in the batter. A tiny drizzle of olive oil poured over the mandarin-encrusted top and a pinch of salt bring out the sweet flavour of the mandarins.


Mandarin top

Zest mandarins and reserve 1 Tbsp (15 mL) zest for use in the recipe. Set mandarins aside, leaving them unpeeled. When cake is baked, trim mandarins by slicing off top and bottom to form a flat edge. Then placing mandarin on the edge with peel, slice into 3 equal wheels. Repeat for each mandarin. Now, gently remove peel, being careful to keep wheels intact, and arrange on top of the cake, filling in holes with smaller sections trimmed from a wheel.


Mandarin Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

  • Servings6


  • 4 mandarin oranges, including 1 Tbsp (15 mL) zest (see tip)
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) hemp hearts
  • 1 cup (250 mL) almond flour
  • 4 large organic eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) orange blossom water, or 1 Tbsp (15 mL) orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp (1 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish, plus additional for greasing pan
  • Pinch of large flake sea salt, for garnish


Per serving:

  • calories139
  • protein8 g
  • total fat10 g
    • sat. fat2 g
  • total carbohydrates10 g
    • sugars5 g
    • fibre3 g
  • sodium70 mg



Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C). Line 8 in (20 cm) springform pan with parchment and grease lightly with olive oil.


In small bowl, combine mandarin zest, hemp hearts, and almond flour and set aside.


Using stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until stiff and cloudlike. (They are done when the bowl can be held upside down over your head without the whites falling out.) Scrape whites carefully into another bowl and set aside.


To bowl of stand mixer, add egg yolks and sugar. Using paddle attachment, beat on high, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. When sugar is dissolved and batter drops in ribbons from paddle, stop mixer and add cocoa powder and orange blossom water (or zest). On lowest setting, stir to incorporate, stopping mixer and scraping down bowl once or twice. Increase speed to medium-high and continue mixing until fully incorporated.


Remove bowl from mixer and add almond flour mixture in three lots, folding in slowly by hand using spatula. Now add reserved whisked egg whites, folding egg whites in slowly. (Note the texture difference between the fluffy egg whites and the more pastelike chocolate almond mixture.) Continue folding mixture gently until egg whites are mostly incorporated. The batter can be slightly lumpy.


Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before releasing from the springform pan. Invert on plate and remove from pan. While still warm, arrange mandarin slices on top (see tip). Fill holes in the centre of each mandarin wheel with a few slivered almonds, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.



Eggplant-Crusted Mushroom Quiche with Arame

Eggplant-Crusted Mushroom Quiche with Arame

Lime juice and ginger add a tropical whiff to this French-Japanese mashup, where seaweed tendrils and Dijon mustard bring out the umami flavours in mushrooms and eggplant. The ingredients might seem to be strange bedfellows, but they work. The result is somewhere between a quiche and a soufflé, with a gluten-free eggplant crust featuring punchy mustard and citrus. This makes for a hearty vegetarian main for brunch, lunch, or dinner with a side salad, or a filling side dish. Fresh or dried If you don’t have fresh thyme and parsley, use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme (divided) and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley. The flavours won’t be as pungent, but a little flavour is better than none.