I know, I know, I know it’s not really the time for cakes in health-conscious diet-ridden January. But it’s REALLY cold here, as it is in the UK. And now that the christmas cake’s finally been gnawed away (it was huge!) I’ve been in need of a little cakey sustenance to ward off the cold. And on the whole this is about as healthy as a cake can be. No butter, no icing, no drizzle, not even any flour. Just cooked (whole!) clementines (or tangerines or satsumas), ground almonds, eggs and sugar. Oh and a little Amaretto to perk things up a little. And it’s a truly wonderful all-rounder of the cakey world, equally delicious as a tea time treat (yes I’m entering it!) with a cuppa, an elevensie with a coffee or even a dinner party pud dolled up with a spoon of mascarpone or creme fraiche.
Originally a Nigella recipe that I’ve slightly adapted over time, but interesting the exact same recipe’s been sighted in a Bill Granger book too. And I mean EXACT. So who’s copying who Nige and Bill?!
Clementine & Almond Cake
375g of clementines, tangerines or satsumas (they all work!)
5 large free range eggs
225g of golden caster sugar
250g of ground almonds
a heaped teaspoon of baking powder, sieved
a tablespoon of Amaretto
a little icing sugar for dusting
Special Equipment: a 21cm spring-sided baking tin lined with greaseproof paper
Place the clementines in a saucepan and cover the fruit with cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer away for 2 hours. Top up the water level as it drops. After 2 hours remove from the water and allow to cool for a few minutes. Whiz to a pulp in a processor.
Pre-heat your oven to 190ºC.
Now on with this cinch of a cake. Whisk up the eggs in a large bowl, using a balloon whisk. Then whisk in the sugar followed by the ground almonds and baking powder. Finally stir in the clementine pulp.
Pour the cake mixture into your lined cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 40 minutes. It should be golden on top, firm to touch and an inserted skewer will come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin on a cooling rack.
Once cool carefully remove from the tin and lightly dust with sieved icing sugar. Serve as is or with a naughty spoon of creme fraiche or mascarpone.