Dehydrating the orange slices may seem laborious but the resulting crunchy texture works really nicely and the kids will love crumbling them over the cake. A perfect rainy-day recipe to attempt with a child - it is gluten-free, too!
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark ¼, 100°C, fan 100°C or the lowest temperature you have available.
Start with the syrup by placing 200g of the caster sugar and 200ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Keep little hands away as hot sugar can cause bad burns.
Slice 1 orange and add to the syrup.
Add the star anise and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes until the syrup is glossy and translucent. Star anise is an unusual spice – make sure the kids get to see it before it goes in. Once cooked allow to cool in the pan.
Lay the orange slices from the syrup on nonstick baking paper and dry out in the low heat oven for 3 hours. Once dry, break into small crunchy orange chips – the children can do this by bashing them with a wooden spoon.
Next move on to the chocolate orange cake. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
Boil the remaining 2 oranges whole in a pan of water for 30 minutes - this is to take the bitter flavour out of the skin.
Once they have cooled slightly cut the oranges in half. Remove the pips and place in a food processor with the remaining 125g of caster sugar, ground almonds, 3 eggs and baking powder. Blend until smooth.
Pour the cake mixture into an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for 12–14 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool.
For the topping for the cake, use an electric whisk to mix 1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks in a large bowl, until doubled in volume.
Bring the granulated sugar and 4tsp of water to the boil. Continue to boil until a sugar thermometer reaches 121°C. Then, remove the pan from the heat.
Add the sugar mixture to the eggs, whisking continuously. Once combined set aside.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over hot water (or in a microwave), and pour into the egg mixture, mixing continuously.
Whisk the cream until half-whipped and then fold into the chocolate mix.
Pour the mixture over the orange sponge and leave to set in the fridge for 2 hours.
Once set, top with the orange chips and shavings of dark chocolate. Slice and serve.
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