I’ve wanted to make this cake forever. almost forever.
just like deb at smittenkitchen I cannot pass up a recipe that looks so miraculously special – a whole fruit?! – just because I’ve baked so much, and the fact that you can whizz in a whole cooked citrus and skip the butter opens up a world of endless possibilities.
I’ve finally gotten hold of a food processor – thank you elise! – though to be honest you could have done this with a knife. I have mentioned how lazy I am though, havent’ I? I pass up fantastical gorgeous recipes for fear of those that use more than 2 or 3 bowls simultaneously for what I call rustic, but truly means it looks homely enough so it doesn’t matter how it looks in the end.
another reason I’ve never made this is because I haven’t been able to leave any of my clementines alone long enough (without eating them) to make this cake. I apologize. so I took this weekend off, and boiled two clementines to near-death.
the cake comes out so moist – almost like you drench it ridiculously, but you really don’t. I think there really are loads of recipes out there that make good fluffy sponge cakes with syrups that you could look for if you don’t like this sort of soft, dense, damp cake – but really these sorts of cakes are a reason I love nigella so much.
I made about half of this recipe, and am listing it here for your reference.
- submerge 225g weight-worth of clementines in a small pot with water, and bring to a boil. I lowered this down to a medium simmer for two hours, and flipped the oranges the other way about halfway through.
- cool them by lifting gently with a spoon – you don’t really want to smoosh them up yet – and let cool on a plate. now you can slice them in half horizontally to reveal any seeds and throw them away.
- preheat your oven to 180C (fan oven) and butter+line an 8-inch square pan. I know many people worry about the size of pans and etc, but I’ve never had a problem putting recipes into different pans – you just have to watch the baking time.
- throw the halved clementines into a food processor and pulse a few times until they are coarsely mashed, set aside. crack open 4 medium eggs into a medium bowl and beat them until blended – you don’t really need too much air in them since we’ll be using a leavener, but I doubt it’ll hurt.
- weight 150g ground almonds, 130g castor sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 0.5 teaspoon vanilla into the eggs directly and mix. I know the original recipe doesn’t call for vanilla, but they are such a good mix with oranges I couldn’t resist.
- beat in the orange mixture until blended. pour into the tin, and place into the oven. I checked the oven from the 25 minute mark, and I believe it took about 40 minutes to cook. best check for your oven since they all vary! cool on a rack in the pan when a tester comes out clean, or with a few crumbs.
it’s very good on the day, and the day after. word of warning: the cake gets very damp if you don’t let it cool completely before storing, so you might want to leave it out overnight on a rack.