James Street Cookery School: Flourless orange and chocolate cakes, vegan madeleines

Niall McKenna's flourless orange and chocolate cakes
Niall McKenna

AT THIS time of year, the season of good will to all, it can be difficult for anyone with food intolerances to get into the festive spirit when dining out. No restaurant kitchen can ever be free from all traces of allergens, but we have definitely come a long way in providing great food to our customers who have intolerances and allergies.

Our menus are not completely vegan or gluten free but when customers come in with special dietary requests, we do our very best to provide something interesting and exciting. These are two great recipes which we alternate around the restaurants for something sweet at the end of the meal – and all our customers love them.


(Makes 8)

200g prunes, stoned and chopped

200ml orange juice, with bits

125g coconut oil

200g dark chocolate

6 eggs, separate yolk from white

Preheat the oven to 160C. For the photos I have made these individually, but you can make one large cake if you prefer. I have used individual moulds – you'll need eight of these if going for the individual option.

Place the orange juice with the prunes in a pan on the hob on a simmer and cook until the consistency becomes like a syrup. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth.

Make a Bain Marie using a pot of boiling water with a bowl in it and melt the coconut oil and chocolate together and mix – do not let any water get into the mix as it will ruin the chocolate. Once melted, add in the prune and orange mix and mix thoroughly.

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and fold this into the chocolate mix. Whip the whites until they are stiff and pour into the mix ensuring all is coated. Do not overbeat.

Place the mix into well-oiled moulds and place in oven for 25 minutes. Check that they are cooked through by dipping a knitting needle in and checking for moisture. Remove from the mould and leave on a cooling tray ready for serving.


30g coconut oil or vegetable oil

120ml almond milk

80g ground almond

5 tables maple syrup

80g gluten free flour

1 lemon zested and juiced

1 teasp vanilla extract

1 teasp baking powder

1 pinch bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180C. Make a Bain Marie using a pot of boiling water with a bowl in it and melt the coconut oil. Add in the almond milk and lemon zest and juice to the coconut oil. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla and mix. Gently stir in the ground almonds, gluten-free flour,baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

Grease a Madeleine tray with some coconut oil and place the mix to the top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden. (If a knitting needle comes out clean they are cooked.) Turn out on to a cooling rack; best served warm.

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