Nigella's Clementine Cake?

bbstx

On another thread someone mentioned Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake. I checked out the recipe and I want to give it a try. I have Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour. Can I substitute it for the ground almonds in the recipe? I have a scale and can substitute it by weight.

For anyone else attempting this recipe, when Smitten Kitchen made it, she found that the oven temp was too high and the cooking time too long.

Here is the recipe:

4-5 clementines (about 375g total weight)

6 eggs

225g sugar

250g ground almonds

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

METHOD

Put the clementines in a pan 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 in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees C. Butter and line a 21cm Springform tin.

You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin 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 tin. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it at any time.

I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nigella's Clementine Cake

SaveComment14Like
Comments (14)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ovenbird

I've made the modified recipe from Elana's Pantry which basically subs with oranges and alternate sweeteners (I'm diabetic and use Splenda instead of agave), and have used both Bob's Red Mill and Honeyville almond flour. Both work, but the texture is better with Honeyville. It is a spongy, moist cake and I bake it for 45 min, not one hour. If the sides get too brown or dry, I just slice them off before serving.

For Thanksgiving I made a double recipe for a 9" x 13" pan while jet lagged, and mistakenly added twice the amount of almond flour the recipe called for! The baking time was the same but the texture was very dense like a heavy pound cake. It tasted pretty good (although a little less orangy) and I even got requests for the recipe!

I've since made the recipe with 50% more almond flour and like that texture best...more like a regular pound cake.

I've also found juice oranges give more flavor than Valencias. I've not yet tried it with Clementines.

If you use Nigella's recipe, keep an eye on it after 30 minutes to make sure it isn't getting too brown too soon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Elana's Pantry orange cake

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cloudy_christine

I looked at the Smitten Kitchen recipe and she says she baked it in a pan one inch larger than Nigella's. That explains the shorter baking time! Still, it could be too long.
Smitten's oven may have been running hot (although she says it tends to run cooler) and that's the best explanation for her too-dark sides. I have made some Nigella baked stuff I haven't been overwhelmed by, and the time may be too long.

Sure you can use the almond meal. Almond flour is really a bit different from almond meal; it's more finely ground. In some cakes, and I think in this one, you want the texture of meal.

Here's a link to the American version of the recipe. It still has that annoying "heaping teaspoon" of baking powder. Way too imprecise for baking powder.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nigella's Clementine Cake, American recipe

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
foodonastump

That recipe appealed to me, too, and I just got back from shopping for it. In the post, Olychick advised to make sure that the almonds are fairly finely ground so I didn't hesitate when I saw Bob's Meal/Flour. It says finely ground whole almonds.

But now I'm confused about how many clementines to use. The recipe Olychick linked says "4-5, about a pound" but above it says 375 grams. I guess it's not critical, but at 50 cents a piece for organic clementines, it would have been nice to save a buck. I bought seven to make a pound.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

I make this cake often around the holidays. I try to cook organically so use organic tangerines, which you have to seed more than Clementines. (There is a move to not buy Clementines regarding the growers' issues with honey bees). I don't think (to my taste) that other types of oranges would be as good - also would the ratio of skin to pulp be less in larger oranges? You want as much orange oil/peel as possible. I followed Nigella's recipe and didn't find it cooked too quickly. Perhaps the impreciseness of a heaping teaspoon of bp doesn't matter as much since there is no flour?

I always grind my own organic almonds - I think my tastebuds are overly sensitive to any hint of rancid nut oil and preground nut products just don't taste fresh enough to me. Even tho almonds aren't too oily, do those of you who use the preground find any off tastes? I'd be interested if anyone has cooked it both ways, fresh nuts vs. meal or flour.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cloudy_christine

FOAS, 375 grams is 5/6 of a pound, so it's pretty close.
The 2 1/3 cups of ground almonds in the American recipe are much more of a problem. How finely ground? How fluffy? They can pack, they can waft lightly into the cup... If I looked at that first, that I'd go in search of the English version, for the weight.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bbstx

YUM! The clementine cake finally got cool enough for me to cut a slice. I love it! I do not find it bitter, at all. However, it does have the taste of citrus rind, but not unpleasant. It is not a sweet sweet cake.

Observations on cooking the cake:
I used an 8 inch cake pan, not a springform pan. My springform pan is 9 or 10 inches. I sprayed the pan with Pam and lined the bottom with parchment, which I also lightly sprayed. I had no problem turning the cake out of the pan after briefly cooling on the counter (it was cool enough for me to pick it up bare-handed).

I lowered the oven temperature to 350 degrees, based on the comment by Smitten Kitchen. At the 30 minute mark, I laid a sheet of non-stick Reynolds over the top, even though it was not yet browning. At 50 minutes, I removed the foil to see how it was going. The cake stuck to the non-stick Reynolds a little bit. Also, it was not browning at all and it was far from done....a clean knife came out covered with raw batter. I left the foil off and bumped up the temp a little. I continued to cook and check at 10 minute intervals. I lost track of how long it actually took the cake to bake, but it was more than an hour. Next time I will cook at 375 degrees as the instructions state. And there will be a next time!

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

bbstx, did you use your Red Mill almond meal/flour instead of grinding your own? if so, sounds like you were pleased with the outcome.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bbstx

Yes, I used the Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour. I keep it stored in the freezer, so no rancid off-taste. The only issue I had was it was very clumpy. I broke up the clumps by hand before putting it in the clementine/egg mixture. I was afraid once they got into the liquid, they would not break up.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bbstx

Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not this cake should be refrigerated? My momma always left cakes and pies (non-cream variety) at room temperature and I lived to tell about it. (Of course, my grandmother would leave Sunday lunch out until Sunday dinner. While we all lived to tell about it, you wouldn't catch me doing that!)

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

I've never refrigerated this cake...it gets better (more moist) as it sits. There is nothing in it that would spoil - lots of sugar and acid from the oranges - the eggs are cooked and the almonds don't require refer.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
foodonastump

For those of you who have made this, do your clementines explode? Mine are simmering right now and they haven't really exploded but the water has definitely taken on some juice. Should I be worried about it?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

No, they've never exploded. I suppose I probably covered the pan, but don't remember - if you are worried, I'd do that. One of the scientists might weigh in about surface tension when submerged in liquids being different than when heating things in dry oven. Or some such thing...lol

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bbstx

FOAS, you're cracking me up! I suppose by "exploded," you mean that the skins cracked. Mine did, and the water was a tad sticky. I supposed that the boiling accomplished two things, reduced the bitterness of the peel and infused the clementines with more moisture. Nigella describes the cake as "damp," and it definitely is.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
foodonastump

Ok, well they're simmered and the house smells awesome.

I'm making some lobster cakes for dinner (Christmas dinner trial for first course) and my almost 3-pound lobster only yielded 7 oz of meat so I was thinking what to make to help fill us up. Then I remembered the clementines which I never used. I'll report back!

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
My Houzz My Houzz: Cozy Country Meets Bohemian Artistic in Australia
Healthy helpings of salvage and rustic art give a pastureland home free-spirited style
Full Story
Simple Pleasures Simple Pleasures: The Joy of Baking
Fill your house with a heavenly scent and your heart with cheer by making time to bake
Full Story
Most Popular Gift Giving the Simple-ish Way
If buying holiday gifts drives you to the spiked holiday punch, try these easier but still rewarding traditions
Full Story