Clementine Cake

Cake1

I've been consuming clementines by the crate over the the last few weeks.  I peel and devour at least ten a day.  If I thought they would keep, I'd pile them to the ceiling to make sure I always had more on hand.

While a bowl full of sweet citrus segments suits me just fine for dessert, I wasn't convinced that my dinner party guests would feel the same this past weekend.  I searched my cookbook collection for a suitable citrus dessert, but only came up with sorbets or panna cottas — not the wintry final course I was hoping for.  At last my search brought me to Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake recipe and the rave reviews other cooks had given it.

I don't always enjoy citrus desserts, but when the mid-winter bounty of clementines appears next year, I will definitely be turning back to this easy, flourless, five-ingredient recipe.

Cake2

Clementine Cake

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

5 clementines, rinsed clean
6 eggs
1 C plus 2 TB sugar
2 1/3 C ground almonds
1 heaping tsp baking powder

Method

Place the clementines in a large pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours. 

When cooked, drain the water and allow the clementines to cool.  Split and remove the seeds and stems.  Throw the skins, pith and fruit into a food processor, and finely chop.  The original recipe isn't clear on whether or not to retain the juices.  I added about 1/3 of the juice to the food processor.

Preheat the oven to 375F

Butter an 8-inch springform pan and line with a circle of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then add the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder.  Mix by hand and then incorporate the clementines.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake.  Lawson's recipe calls for an hour of baking, but I'd recommend checking it at the 30 or 40 minute mark. The sides of my cake became quite dark.  I was worried that the cake was burning, but it ended up being the citrus and sugar caramelizing.  Nevertheless, I covered the cake with foil after 40 minutes and continued cooking until a tester came out clean from the center.  This took about 15 more minutes. 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack before removing the springform sides.  The cake can be made a day ahead. Serve at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar.

show hide 18 comments

heather - i’m in love with this already. so simple with only five ingredients – especially the little cuties!
cheers,
*heather*

heather - i’m in love with this already. so simple with only five ingredients – especially the little cuties!
cheers,
*heather*

Joelen - This looks wonderful! I have some almond meal that could be used up and this recipe is a great way to use it!

Joelen - This looks wonderful! I have some almond meal that could be used up and this recipe is a great way to use it!

Bowl of Plenty - I’m confused when you say “the original recipe isn’t clear on whether or not to retain the juices.”
After going through a food processor, don’t the oranges end up just as a pulpy puree? How does the juice get separated? Or did you lose a lot of juice when you split the oranges? (When I made this, the clementines I had on hand were seedless, so I just tossed them whole into the food processor.)
In addition to placing parchment on the bottom, I’d also recommend lining the side of the pan with parchment. This cake is really sticky.
I didn’t use foil, and my cake got a lot darker than yours all around, but it didn’t taste burnt.
I agree the result is good, though, if a bit unconventional compared to cakes made with flour.

Bowl of Plenty - I’m confused when you say “the original recipe isn’t clear on whether or not to retain the juices.”
After going through a food processor, don’t the oranges end up just as a pulpy puree? How does the juice get separated? Or did you lose a lot of juice when you split the oranges? (When I made this, the clementines I had on hand were seedless, so I just tossed them whole into the food processor.)
In addition to placing parchment on the bottom, I’d also recommend lining the side of the pan with parchment. This cake is really sticky.
I didn’t use foil, and my cake got a lot darker than yours all around, but it didn’t taste burnt.
I agree the result is good, though, if a bit unconventional compared to cakes made with flour.

AmyRuth - just this weekend I made a lemon tart with whole meyer lemons. So I am excited about this cake because I too have the almond meal and cuties on my kitchen counter. Do you think an orange or almond liqueur would compliment this cake or would it be unnecessary? Sounds so yummy and looks pretty as well.
AmyRuth

AmyRuth - just this weekend I made a lemon tart with whole meyer lemons. So I am excited about this cake because I too have the almond meal and cuties on my kitchen counter. Do you think an orange or almond liqueur would compliment this cake or would it be unnecessary? Sounds so yummy and looks pretty as well.
AmyRuth

Kelly J. - I have made this cake and it was nice. Much better than I had thought it would be. It also kept pretty well, which is pretty nice since there are only two of us in the hosue.

Kelly J. - I have made this cake and it was nice. Much better than I had thought it would be. It also kept pretty well, which is pretty nice since there are only two of us in the hosue.

Jeni - Tried this cake last night. I was a little freaked out about the batter without flour but it turned out great! No clementines on hand so I used 3 tangerines and a hand full of kumquats. YUM. Like Bowl of Plenty, I suggest lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, in addition to the sides.
AmyRuth: I added a teaspoon of anisette to mine and it was subtle but fresh.

Jeni - Tried this cake last night. I was a little freaked out about the batter without flour but it turned out great! No clementines on hand so I used 3 tangerines and a hand full of kumquats. YUM. Like Bowl of Plenty, I suggest lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, in addition to the sides.
AmyRuth: I added a teaspoon of anisette to mine and it was subtle but fresh.

CU - Ok, this is much too delicious to post. Our collective drool factor is past, ya know, like really high. Thanks for the recipe.

CU - Ok, this is much too delicious to post. Our collective drool factor is past, ya know, like really high. Thanks for the recipe.

Marie - I want this cake! All I need is some clementines. Just beautiful! I love the carmelization!

Marie - I want this cake! All I need is some clementines. Just beautiful! I love the carmelization!

Gemma - Heather, the short ingredient list definitely inspired me to give this a try.
Bowl of Plenty — when the recipe instructs the reader to split the fruits and remove any seeds, the juice is hard to contain. I thought some clarity in this part of the instructions would be helpful to my readers that want to check for pips. As cakes pull away from the sides of the dish when they bake, I found I only needed parchment on the bottom of the pan. But you are right, it is quite sticky!
AmyRuth, I bet an almond liquor would be perfect with this.
Jeni, glad it turned out well!
You’re welcome CU. Enjoy!
Thanks Marie, I also thought the caramelization looked nice.

Gemma - Heather, the short ingredient list definitely inspired me to give this a try.
Bowl of Plenty — when the recipe instructs the reader to split the fruits and remove any seeds, the juice is hard to contain. I thought some clarity in this part of the instructions would be helpful to my readers that want to check for pips. As cakes pull away from the sides of the dish when they bake, I found I only needed parchment on the bottom of the pan. But you are right, it is quite sticky!
AmyRuth, I bet an almond liquor would be perfect with this.
Jeni, glad it turned out well!
You’re welcome CU. Enjoy!
Thanks Marie, I also thought the caramelization looked nice.

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