January 8, 2022

Clementine Cake

 

I'm not one to make any resolutions when a new year is upon us, but this year I decided to make an intention.  Who knows if intentions are that much different to resolutions, but I tell myself they are...hahaha.  My intention for 2022 is to be less wasteful, particularly when it comes to food.  Before the pandemic I was always binning food that had expired or was spoiled.  Often times it was because I'd forgotten about it or was just too lazy to cook or bake.    

Out of necessity, especially in the early part of the pandemic in 2020, I was forced to change this behavior.  When we were essentially in lock down I wasn't frequenting the stores as I normally would.  Plus, certain ingredients were out of stock so I had to make do with what I already had.  Pre-planning and creativity, I think, are key to this strategy.

With that mindset I made this Clementine Cake.  I'd been staring at the same bowl of clementines since the holidays that were close to their last legs.  The fruits were too dry to eat on their own so I had to think of a way to use them up.  Guilt prevented me from tossing them in the compost bin.  Initially I'd considered making marmalade, but upon realizing how much time (and sugar) went into the process I quickly changed my mind.  I vaguely remembered watching an episode of Nigella Lawson where she made a clementine cake using every bit of the fruit, skin and all.  Sounded perfect to me! 


The recipe can be easily found on the internet and I had all the ingredients (clementines, almond flour, sugar, eggs and baking powder) on hand.  The only changes I made to Nigella's recipe were to  microwave the fruit for five minutes, instead of boiling it on the stove for 2 hours!, and also adding kosher salt and sliced almonds.  
 
There was definitely some skepticism on my part about how good this cake would taste given how simple it was to make, but one bite and I was a convert.  Nigella claimed this cake would be super moist and taste as if it had been soaked in syrup.  She wasn't lying.  You wouldn't believe the texture; not  mushy at all and it had a custard-like texture.  It actually reminded me of the cakes you would find at a breakfast buffet in an Italian hotel or bed & breakfast.   It needs no embellishment other than a light dusting of powdered sugar.  So delicious!

Clementine Cake

Makes one 8" cake

375g clementines (I recommend the seedless variety)
225g white sugar
250g almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 eggs
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (for decorating)
 
Preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly grease an 8" round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
 
Wash the clementines.  Place in a microwave safe bowl and cover almost completely with hot water.  Cover bowl in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  NOTE: If your fruit has seeds in them, you must remove the seeds after this step. 
 
Place the cooked clementines, do not use the cooking water!, in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend the clementines in the food processor until the fruit is completely blended.  Add the sugar, almond flour, baking powder, kosher salt and eggs.  Blend until everything is incorporated into a batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.  Sprinkle evenly on top with the sliced almonds.

Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour, or until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cake stay in the pan until completely cooled.

Remove cooled cake from pan and sift powdered sugar evenly over the top.  Cut into wedges and serve.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous1/09/2022

    Should the clementines be cool before I blend them? Or when I add the rest of the ingredients? Or is it okay to proceed while the clementines are still hot?

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