Thursday, December 14, 2006

What to do with all these Clementines

I just bought a box of clementines and didn't know what to do with them all. Cath religiously makes this Nigella Clementine cake. So she is the one that inspired me to make this recipe. Kate also made me this gorgeous orange cake that seems similar to this one. I baked them up in mini springform pans. I just drizzled some royal icing on top but I bet some dark chocolate drizzle would be so tasty! Perfect if you are looking for a citrusy holiday snack or gift even.

Nigella's Clementine Cake
4-5 clementines (about 1 pound or 375g total weight)
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (225g)
2 and one-third cups ground almonds (250g)
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Put the clementines in a pot with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines - skins, pith, fruit and all - and give a quick blitz. Then tip in all the remaining ingredients and pulse to a pulp. Preheat the oven to 375F(190C). Butter and line an 8 inch springform pan.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the pan. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. It's better a day after it's made.

Nigella has also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons and increases the sugar to one and one-quarter cups(250g) and adds a glaze made of confectioner's sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Can't wait to see what everyone makes or eats this holiday season!


Blogger Kaoru said...

your baking is truly amazing. these little clementine treats sound great. as did your pumpkin cupcakes a while back... and your pizza dough-nuts... and your professionally decorated butter cookies!!!

14 December, 2006 20:07  
Blogger Jer said...

These look like wonderful holiday presents to give to neighbors or friends that stop by. I'm spending the afternoon with Alyssa, maybe we'll make a batch of these when she gets home from school. Thanks for the idea!

18 December, 2006 11:12  
Blogger Cath said...

Elaine...just randomly checked the blog and saw these--what a great idea! They're the cutest things ever!

19 December, 2006 12:34  
Blogger Jer said...

So I tried making this cake tonight and I didn't have great results. I wonder if it has to do with my clementines or my almonds. I tried two separate batches -- the second I added more sugar and a splash of almond extract to work with the flavor -- but I really didn't like the flavor or the texture of either batch. I found it very mealy and also found the orange flavor too bitter (in spite of my second attempt with more sugar). Elaine and Cath, can you describe to me what it should taste like? Maybe I should use almond meal instead of grinding almonds (by the way I used almond slivers so that I wouldn't have the skin on). I threw the first batch out and put the second batch in the fridge to taste it in the morning to see if the flavor has changed any. I was so sad as I wanted to bring these cakes as presents to a dinner tonight.

On a good note, the smell in our kitchen when I was boiling those clementines was incredible. I would boil clementines just for the smell! Better than a candle! I had holiday music playing and I was wrapping presents and I was having a ball!

19 December, 2006 23:59  
Blogger Cath said... is definitely mealy from the almond flour but shouldn't be bitter I don't think. I've ground almonds myself before too and usually get better results from the store-bought stuff. It's hard to get the texture right before it turns into almond butter instead of almond flour! If you do grind though--a few tips I've small batches, add some of the sugar from the recipe in with the almonds and make sure the almonds aren't cold (I keep mine in the freezer usually) when you start. I don't know though. I kind of think it's easier just to buy almond meal. One other thing--it really does taste so much better after a day or two in the fridge! And I like it cold, not room temp for some reason. But it's kind of a weird cake. I love it but it's definitely not for everyone!

20 December, 2006 12:07  
Blogger Jer said...

You are right, so much better the next day and really good cold. I still think mine is too mealy but I think its because I ground the almonds myself and some of them didn't grind too well (I'm using an older Cuisineart with not a great blade). I will try again as I love how this recipe has no flour and such few indgredients. Thanks Cath and Elaine!

20 December, 2006 16:48  
Blogger Elaine said...

I actually used almond meal or almond flour that I bought from Whole Foods. I pulsed all the liquid ingredients together in the food processor. I did fold in the baking powder and almond flour by hand. I definitely think you have to bake it more than you think you do. I guess thats why Nigella recommends to cover the cakes so they don't overbrown. Sorry it didn't work out for you either time.

20 December, 2006 16:56  
Blogger Cath said...

Oh...that's true I forgot! I usually tack on an extra 10 minutes of baking time because I feel like my ovens (mine or my moms' where I've made it a bunch too) are never hot enough. You don't want the center too goopy. One interesting thing, in her book Nigella talks about how after making this several times she realized this was basically Claudia Roden's Orange and Almond Cake--Elaine I think you're the one who gave me that old cookbook of hers and the cake is in there. It's not exactly the same but darn close.

21 December, 2006 12:24  
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