I have wanted to make a clementine cake ever since I saw Smitten Kitchen's version of the famous Nigella Lawson cake. It's still the tail-end of clementine season, and I recently acquired a springform cake pan, so the time seemed right (and ripe). I planned, last night, that I would get up early today and start making the cake.
And then I dreamed of the cake. What can I say? This is my life. It's weird. I dream about cake now, apparently. I dreamed that I made this cake, this clementine cake, and that it wasn't sweet enough. In the dream I was disappointed that my long-awaited cake didn't live up to my expectations.
So when I woke up this morning I decided to modify the recipe in hopes that it would be sweet enough. If something comes to you in a dream, you should trust it. Right? I added some more sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla.
Lucky for me, the cake came out absolutely perfect. Like, perfect. I am not that great of a baker, so I was pleasantly surprised; I actually think this is my favorite thing I have ever baked. Clementine cake is light and moist and sweet and orange-flavored but not in an overwhelming way (and it's totally gluten-free, an added bonus!).
makes 6-8 servings
total time: about 3 hours
total hands on time: less than 1o minutes
What you'll need:
2 and 1/3 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
What you'll do:
1. Preheat your oven to 375.
2. Put the clementines (skins on!) in a saucepan with plenty of water, at least half of the pot full. Make sure you take the little stem nubbins off.
3. Bring the clementines and water to a boil, then turn down and simmer for two hours.
4. Pour off the water. Once they're cool to the touch, slice in half and remove seeds from clementines.
5. Put fruit (again, skins on!) into the food processor and blend.
6. Add all other ingredients and blend until well-mixed. The batter should be a light orange color. Pour it into the springform pan.
7. Bake at 375 and check it at 40 minutes. Mine was pretty much done, but I put some foil on top and baked it for another ten. Insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it's done.
After I poured off the water I used to boil the fruit, it occurred to me that it would have been perfect to use it to make a glaze for this delicious cake. I'll remember that for next time, but if you make this, save the water and make a glaze!