Friday, January 10, 2014

Oh, My Darlin'

When my darlin' was ill this past week, I made the most of being homebound by looking for ways to use up stuff in my pantry in anticipation of the kitchen remodel, which is supposed to start (please, God!) in a month or so.  I rummaged around in there and found all kinds of things that were probably well past their "sell by" date, but still good and in need of being used up.  Half packages of pasta. Cans of tuna. Several kinds of sugar. Multiple salts. I could go on.

But, the best thing I made all week, bar none, was this cake. It is made with whole clementine tangerines that are boiled, then buzzed up in the food processor with some eggs, almond flour (that's what I found in the pantry - why did I buy almond flour, I wonder?), and sugar. It is light and moist and not very sweet despite using up a surprising amount of sugar. I was tempted to cut back on the sugar but decided to follow Nigella Lawson's recipe the first time, and I'm glad I did. It was perfect as written.

Oh, perhaps I could have dusted the top with powdered sugar - and, believe me, I was tempted since I have too much of that in the pantry, too - but otherwise, it was lovely just plain. I had bought some vanilla ice cream to go with it but, actually, it didn't need it. Gilding the lily. All by itself, this cake is redolent of the clementines and almost as juicy.

The only taxing part about this recipe is the two hours of boiling the tangerines before you dump them in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients to make a batter.  I added water once and probably should have twice, as mine nearly ran out of water toward the end of the two hours. Otherwise, the recipe is literally and figuratively a piece of cake.

Oh, My Darlin' Clementine Cake, from Nigella Lawson

13 ounces clementine tangerines (she used 3. I used Cuties, which are small so I used 5)

6 large eggs
1-1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/4 cups almond meal (almond flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder

Put the clementines in a pan with cold water, bring to a boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove any seeds.  

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Prepare an 8" spring form cake pan by buttering the bottom and sides and lining the bottom with buttered parchment paper.

Dump the clementines - skin, pith, fruit and all) into the food processor with the metal blade in place and whizz them up. 

Nigella says you can add all the rest of the ingredients to the food processor at this point, but I added the eggs one at a time and blitzed them for a few seconds before adding the sugar, flour and baking powder. The result is a very fine, most crumb, either way.

Pour the batter into the cake pan (I set mine on a cookie sheet as my springform pan always leaks a little) and bake for an hour, or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean. After about 40 minutes, cover the top with foil to keep it from burning.

Remove from the oven and cool in the cake pan, on a rack. When cold, remove from the pan. Nigella said it's better the second day, but we were impatient to try it, so we ate a slice the first day and found little difference the second day.

Nigella also says you can make it with an equal weight of oranges or lemons, but you need to increase the sugar to 2-1/2 cups if you use lemons. I might try it with Meyer lemons next time, leaving the sugar at the lower amount since they are so sweet.


Blogger Greg said...

Eating good!

Saturday, January 11, 2014  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

I've seen this recipe before and have always been intrigued. Now I have to try it!

Saturday, January 11, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, indeed we are.

Hungry Dog, I hope you like it as much as we did.

Sunday, January 12, 2014  
Blogger Buzz Baylis said...

I crediting part of my recovery to teh extra vitimin C provided by Zoomie!

Monday, January 13, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Buzz, you are so cute!

Monday, January 13, 2014  
Blogger Katie Zeller said...

Perfect - this is going to be my next winter dessert... whenever I entertain again. Ahhh the mysteries of the pantry.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Katie, your guests will enjoy it - I promise.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014  

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