See this? It very well may be my dream dessert. While molten chocolate is nice and all, I am a fruit dessert kind of person. It has its drawbacks, which are that a lot of fruit-centric desserts come in the form of tarts and ice cream. I haven't run across many desserts that have it all for me: lush cakey-ness, bright fruit taste, and rich without being overly heavy.
Leave it to Nigella Lawson to create this dreamy dessert. I ran across this recipe some time ago and stuck it in the bookmarked recipes to be made later tab. This month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge (hosted by Ani at Foodie Chickie), which was to make a Nigella recipe, was the perfect excuse to give it a whirl. Little did I know that this cake has been made about 234,445,977 times on the Internet - and for good reason.
Outside of boiling the clementines, it's terribly simple to put together - a plus for someone like me with mild baking anxiety. The smell that wafts through your house while the clementines are cooking is dreamy, making this the ideal dessert around the holidays or for parties. Your guests will be a little wowed by the smell as they walk in the door. The results are a pudding-y, rich, flavorful cake that wasn't all that heavy. Plus, with no flour in the recipe, it's perfect for those with dietary restrictions.
One note about the recipe, I noticed: All of the reviews of this cake scream about how much it sticks to the pan. I did a test of it...and yes...it does. For my cakes, I used small Wilton fluted shaped pans with a healthy dose of Baker's Joy. They popped right out. Without the non-stick baking spray, they stuck to the inside and fell apart. If you're using the spring-form pan, I would recommend using the parchment or the baking spray, as well.
Clementine Cake - makes one 8" cake - originally published in How To Eat by Nigella Lawson
- 4 to 5 unpeeled clementines (about 1 pound total weight)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 1/3 cups ground almonds
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
- Put the unpeeled clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours.
- Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds.
- Then chop everything finely — skins, pits, fruit — in the food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to 375ƒF. Butter and line an 8-inch spring form pan.
- Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines. I don't like using the processor for this, and frankly, you can't balk at a little light stirring.
- Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the pan. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the pan. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it any time.