Adapted from—Nigella Lawson How to Eat: The Pleasure and Principals of Good Food
Clementine Cake Ingredients:
- 5 small Clementine oranges –(about 1 pound total weight; you want to yield 2 cups of puree)
- 6 eggs – beaten
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white table sugar
- 2 and 1/3 cup finely ground, unblanched unsalted raw almonds – (If using whole almonds and grinding yourself, measure out 2 cups whole almonds, then grind in a food processor. If using pre-ground almonds or almond meal, use the exact measurement given)
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
- Cover clementines in a pot with cold water and bring to boil. Don't peel or cut them. Put them in the pot whole! Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours; then drain and cool. When the clementines have cooled enough to handle, cut each in half and remove the seeds (if there are any). Some clementines are seedless, so this step may not be necessary.
- Chop the clementines in a food processor or blender – skin, pith, fruit, the whole shebang – until smooth. The mixture won’t be perfectly smooth, but you don’t want big chunks of orange either. This can be done by hand though it will take longer. If you want to make the cake at another time, measure 2 cups of pureed orange for each cake to bake and freeze. When you are ready to make the cake, take the puree out of the freezer and defrost.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Butter and line four miniature spring form pans. You can use an 8-inch size spring form pan, but you will need to adjust the baking time to 40-45 minutes of baking, uncovered, and then cook the cake another 15-20 minutes covered with foil to stop the top of cake from turning too brown. Actual baking time will vary, depending on the oven temperature and type of oven.
- Beat the eggs; add the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder. Mix well and add the pureed clementines.
- Put the mini spring form pans onto a baking tray, to keep them stable. Pour the cake mixture into each spring form pan and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, check to see if the top of the cake is becoming too brown, if so, cover with lightly sprayed aluminum foil (prevents sticking) to prevent further browning. Continue to bake the cakes another 10-15 minutes. If you are using a large size spring form pan, or if you are unsure of your oven’s actual temperature, you may want to check to see if the cake is done. When a skewer will come out clean, the cake is finished. Also, when the cake springs back when you touch it (and your finger indentation doesn't sink into the cake) it's done!
- Remove cake from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the pan. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan. The cake is actually better a day or so after it is made – the flavors bloom and develop more. Refrigerate, but serve at room temperature, not ice cold.
- Notes – Serve as is, at room temperature, with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, or as a special treat, with a drizzle of warm, bittersweet chocolate sauce.
- I use whole, raw, unblanched unsalted almonds that I grind myself in the food processor. The extra crunch and coarser texture of the whole almond with its skin yields a nuttier and more interesting texture to the cake.
- I’ve made this cake every Christmas for over a decade, and have even given copies of the recipe along with the cakes as gifts. Baking the cakes in the smaller spring form pans allows me to bake many at one time, freezing some for later, or for baking in advance. The cake will hold for about 5 days, but it is best to refrigerate it after one day. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.