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Clementine Cake

by . Featured in HOW TO EAT
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Introduction

This is incredibly easy to make; even if you're stressed out, it won't topple you over into nervous collapse. It's such an accommodating kind of cake: it keeps well, indeed it gets better after a few days, and it is perfect either as a pudding, with some creme fraiche, or as cake.

It is a wonderfully damp, dense and aromatic flourless cake: it tastes like one of those sponges you drench, while cooling, with syrup, only you don't have to. This is the easiest cake I know.

This is incredibly easy to make; even if you're stressed out, it won't topple you over into nervous collapse. It's such an accommodating kind of cake: it keeps well, indeed it gets better after a few days, and it is perfect either as a pudding, with some creme fraiche, or as cake.

It is a wonderfully damp, dense and aromatic flourless cake: it tastes like one of those sponges you drench, while cooling, with syrup, only you don't have to. This is the easiest cake I know.

Ingredients

Serves: 8-10

Metric Cups
  • approx. 375 grams clementines (approx. 3 medium-sized ones)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 225 grams white sugar
  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (see NOTE below)
  • approx. 13 ounces clementines (approx. 3 medium-sized ones)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2¼ cups almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (see NOTE below)

Method

  1. 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 5/190ºC/375ºF. Butter and line a 21cm / 8 inch Springform tin.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g / 2¼ cups and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.
  1. 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 5/190ºC/375ºF. Butter and line a 21cm / 8 inch Springform tin.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g / 2¼ cups and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Additional Information

NOTE: to make this cake gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free baking powder, or omit the baking powder altogether.

NOTE: to make this cake gluten-free, make sure to use gluten-free baking powder, or omit the baking powder altogether.

Tell us what you think

What 69 Others have said

  • Made this the other day and it was amazing - and everyone who had it raved (So I gave Nigella all the credit ;o) Didn't have clementines, so I used mandarins, which were excellent, but bigger, so it only took two. Couple of questions for folks: 1) I used the courser ground almond meal, not the finer almond flour. Has any used both and have a preference/recommendation? 2) Has anyone tried making this using muffin or mini-muffin tins? If so, how much did you shorten the time, and did they come out as amazing?

    Posted by rastriffler on 17th January 2018
  • It’s delicious I made it to take to work for my colleagues. Boiling the clementines for two hours was a chore but I think I’ll try the pressure cooker next time. It will definitely go in my recipe book

    Posted by Countess56 on 16th January 2018
  • This cake is so good. Followed the directions exactly. Ground my own almonds, though will grind them finer next time. I left the cake overnight in the fridge, before trying, as I saw in comments that it can help to ensure a moist cake. The cake tastes so fresh and is so simple. Can't wait to try the recipe with other citrus fruits.

    Posted by SandMarks on 4th January 2018
  • I made this cake for a family gathering last week, it was wonderful! I love this recipe!

    Posted by RobyH on 4th January 2018
  • I've made this lovely cake numerous times now and for me it never fails nor gets too dark on top; it is simple yet moist and tasty so always gets nice compliments when I share it. It does taste great the day after cooking if it lasts that long in your home. It is a bit of a drag cooking the clementines for two hours (if your impatient like me) so know that I've done it twice now for only one hour simmering in water and it still works! I will have to try the pressure cooking method mentioned below...15 minutes surely can't be beaten :)

    Posted by George739 on 9th November 2017
  • I love making this cake. I always replace all the sugar with Agave Nectar. And I also top the cake with a decent layer of dessicated coconut. It always goes down well!

    Posted by Melaanie on 30th December 2016
  • This cake converts even people who say they don't eat cake! I cook the clementines for 15 mins in a pressure cooker, which makes it much quicker to make.

    Posted by JoeyHerts on 20th December 2016
  • Wow, so simple, yet somehow ridiculously hedonistic at the same time! Nigella, I made the cake a day ahead, as you suggested, and the result was a moist cake almost, as you say, as had it been soaked in syrup. The taste that lingers on the palate is beguiling - I found myself sneaking back for just one more tiny taste time and time again. The recipe is so uncomplicated, I'm sure I will be turning to it often as my new standby, whether time is pressing, or not.

    Posted by quargl on 11th December 2016
  • I made this for a dinner party last night and it was a huge hit. Deliciously moist.

    Posted by Susannepm on 4th December 2016
  • I have made this cake several times. I add my own twist with 1 TBS orange flower water which give a marvelous floral reference to the clementine and sometimes 1/8 tsp cinnamon. It disappears.

    Posted by PEllen on 2nd October 2016
  • Made this cake twice in one week - we just couldn't stop!!! Our go-to cake now and we have improvised with other citrus fruits (lemons, oranges and adding lavender too!) :)

    Posted by OliaK on 13th September 2016
  • I first tried this cake at an Open Gardens event where the hostess had made several Nigella cakes and had tweaked this one by adding candied clementine slices to the bottom (which became the top) and glazed it with the reduced syrup. I have since made it twice for WI events and it has been the star of the evenings with many people asking for the recipe. Easy, delicious and impressive.

    Posted by DJWinks on 12th August 2016
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