Impressions of marshmallowy hot chocolate and stovetops of chili conger up fond memories of winter, but so does the faint smell of citrus. Cuties were a household staple growing up and each winter the seniors at my high school would sell crates full of Florida citrus as a fundraiser for prom.
Naturally I succumb to the zesty flavors by adding lemon to my water, eating a grapefruit a day, and buying clementines by the ton. Sadly Matt doesn’t share my love for the round juicy fruits, so I often find myself inundated with pounds of citrus.
When I had some free time last week I knew it was the perfect opportunity to break out my Kitchen Aid Mixer and attempt to make my first cake from scratch. And it was going to star clementines.
I found an easy 5 ingredient cake recipe from Nigella Lawson, and after asking Matt to stop at the store to buy $15 worth of almonds, I had all of the ingredients on hand.
The hardest part was using the world’s smallest food processor to grind the almonds and the clementines, but I survived. And after a few minutes of hard labor, 30 minutes more of standing over my stove supervising, and a few excited screams to Matt in the basement proclaiming that I hadn’t charred the cake, we were mmm’ing and aah’ing.
4 to 5 clementines (I used 6)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
Put the 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 finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in the processor (or by hand, of course).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
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 1 hour, when a skewer will come out clean. * My large cake was done in 30 minutes, but my stove runs warm.
After debating a bit over the question to frost or not to frost, I happily decided on a light dusting of powdered sugar. The subtle addition was perfect on the cake, and looked gorgeous on top of the small ramekins that I baked using the leftover batter.
Speaking of ramekins, I have a few of those beauties left in my fridge that really need tending to.