As you saw from last week’s post, England is under water these days. And what is the best thing to do while watching the rain from the window? Have a piece of cake and a nice cup of tea of course!
I bought a few bags of clementines this winter, and we ate them all pretty fast but the last one just seemed to stay there untouched. I think it is because by February we were both quite bored of clementines. So last week I decided I just had to do something about it and began looking for a few recipes using clementines.
This recipe from Nigella Lawson immediately piqued my curiosity. It uses a whole boiled citrus fruit, rind and all, and seemed to receive pretty good feedback. I felt like I had to try it right away..and I was not dissapointed!I was worried it could be too bitter or just really weird but it is a wonderfully moist, dense and very flavourful cake. It is also gluten free and butter/oil free, which does not hurt.
I bring little addition to the recipe as I decided to follow it almost by the book (except I omitted the baking powder). But my version will definitely make you gain some precious time. See, in Nigella’s version, you have to start by boiling the clementines in water for 2 hours. I decided I could not be bothered so I cooked them in the microwave instead, twice 4 minutes. It came out just fine, and I had just saved myself 112 minutes. I even think it helps preserving the flavours as you don’t lose them in the boiling water. One extra brownie point for me!
Ingredients: 350 g clementines (about 4 small ones) – 6 medium eggs – 200 g white sugar – 200 g ground almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter and line a 25 cm Springform tin ( in Nigella’s recipe it is 21 cm, but that’s all I had so my cake was slightly thinner.
1. Put your clementines in a plastic bowl in the microwave for 4 minutes, leave to cool for 30 seconds, and then microwave 4 more minutes. I do this in 2 steps to avoid my clementines exploding in the microwave.
2. When cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines – skins, pith, fruit and all – in a food processor and give a quick blitz until you obtain a sort of clementine puree.
3. Then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix.
4. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake until a skewer will come out clean. In her recipe Nigella mentions that you have to cook the cake for 1 hour at 190ºC, but I cooked it at 180ºC and after 30-40 minutes it was done.
Variations: Nigella says she’s also made this with an equal weight of oranges and lemons, in which case the sugar is increased to 250 g. I wonder how this would taste with blood oranges or grapefruit.