I had to make this cake because I was unbelievably intrigued. How the heck did anyone figure that you could puree whole clementines into a cake? I absolutely had to try this out. And since I just happened to have a box of clementines in my fridge, I had no reason to wait. It turns out that Nigella Lawson is a mad genius. This cake is moist and delicious and perfectly orangey...and not so bad to look at either. An added bonus...the smell that fills the house as the oranges boil is just lovely. The next time I make it (and there absolutely will be a next time), I would decrease the sugar a little. I was afraid to do it without trying it as the recipe suggests first because of the bitterness from the rinds. The batter did not taste overly sweet as I was preparing it - so the finished product was sweeter than I expected it to be. I tend to decrease the amount of sugar that any recipe calls for, so I shouldn't be surprised. If you are like me, then you could cut the sugar here as will I in the future. I'll probably get rid of the extra 2 Tbsp to start (were those extra tablespoons really necessary, Nigella???) I will update this post when I do and let you know how it goes.
from Nigella Lawson
4 or 5 clementines (a little less than a pound)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 heaping tsp baking powder
powdered sugar for dusting
Put the clementines in a large pot and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and then continue to cook for 2 hours. (Lawson doesn't say to keep adding water, but I got nervous when the water would boil down too low - so I occasionally added more hot water to the pot and brought it back to a boil so that the clementines would stay mostly covered for most of the 2 hours.) Drain the clementines and let them cool. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter and line with parchment paper the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Once the clementines are cooled, cut them in half and remove any seeds. Put them in a food processor and blend until smooth (or you can chop them finely by hand, but I was afraid to have chunks of rind in the cake.) In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder and combine. Then mix in the clementine puree. Add this batter to your pan. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Then cover it with foil and bake an additional 10 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack for at least half an hour. Before releasing the springform pan, be sure to run a knife along the sides. Then you will be able to open the pan and turn the cake out onto a plate. Dust the top with a little bit of powdered sugar and enjoy with a hot cup of tea.