1 Suzie the Foodie: Recipe Review: Nigella's Clementine Cake

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recipe Review: Nigella's Clementine Cake

Nigella's Clementine Cake

Update: my super cool friend Ava made this cake and emailed me this comment:
I just wanted to send a quick note it let you know that I made the Clementine Cake yesterday, I made it exactly as the recipe called for (I also had to use exactly 7 clementines like you) and it was DELICIOUS!!! Whooo, what a fantastic cake.

Mine turned out just like yours, very golden on the outside but very moist and citrusy. Just wow, everyone here loved it. Thanks for sharing it on your blog, next time I make it I'll try the lemon version.
I love it when people make recipes I recommend and are happy foodies! Thanks so much for letting me know Ava.

I have something big to celebrate this week: The Food Network published my restaurant review of the Q Smokehouse on their blog! I am over the moon, as a foodie, this is a huge dream come true for me. Also, today is Earth Day and what could be a better way to celebrate than to make a cake flavour with whole clementines. Yup! WHOLE clementines. I know, sounds so crazy I just had to try Nigella's Clementine Cake. I mean, it is Nigella right? Her Chocolate Cloud Cake was absolutely divine, so I trusted her. And boy, am I ever glad I did!

For this recipe you need a few special things: food processor, scale, big cake pan (I used a springform pan), parchment paper and lots of time. Why?

Nigella's Clementine Cake

You boil 375 grams of whole clementines for two hours!!! The good news is, if you do this ahead of time this cake can be made quickly and easily. I did not leave them at a rolling boil for two hours, I simmered them and in the end covered them so they would have enough liquid for the entire cooking time. I saw Nigella make this recipe and noticed her clementines were HUGE in comparison to our little ones so this is where the scale came in handy. Her recipe called for four to five and I ended up using seven to get the proper weight for the recipe.

Nigella's Clementine Cake

Let the clementines cool and slice them in half. Remove any pips and I also removed the little stems on the top. You put them into a food processor and blitz. The whole thing! I gather the boiling removes all the bitterness and clementines have so little pith that all you are left with is orangey goodness.

Nigella's Clementine Cake

I love recipes like this, so easy. Just let the food processor do all the work. Technically, I think this "cake" is actually a torte because it uses ground almonds and not flour. You add some sugar, lots of eggs and baking powder and process away!

Nigella's Clementine Cake

You need to grease your pan and put parchment on the bottom and grease that too. I used my springform pan and put the parchment on the bottom and then fastened the ring around it, tearing away the extra bits on the side. Works like a charm.

The recipe says to put it in a pre-heated gas mark 5 oven. Oh dear! OK, so I look it up in The Professional Pastry Chef which converted the temperature to 375F. Nigella says to bake it for 40 minutes and then cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. To be safe, I covered it at 30 minutes and...

Nigella's Clementine Cake

I almost cried. That, to me, looks burned. I like just-barely-golden cakes and this one appeared dark and dry. This is the third British recipe to basically over-bake my food. I thought using the foil early would protect it, darn it! Next time I will bring down the temperature. So, is all lost?

Nigella's Clementine Cake

Not at all! In fact, when my husband and I took our first bite of this cake we could not believe how moist it was! I was all ready to take one bite and not eat the rest. Surprisingly you could not stop me from devouring every morsel. It tasted like sunshine and joy. This cake/torte may look modest but I promise you, it delivers on flavour and texture. No icing required, no sprinkling of icing sugar... leave this cake as-is and devour its essence of summer. I give this recipe five out of five wooden spoons.

After indulging, I covered myself in a blanket and lay down on the couch for a bit of a nap. My husband was eating his piece slowly in the other room, savoring each bite. I could hear him mutter to himself, "Damn, that's good cake."

I smiled. This, for me, is bliss.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Nigella delivers again!

Jamie Ridler said...

Wow, that is absolutely amazing to me. If I read that recipe, I wouldn't have believed it! And I would have believed even less that it was pretty easy! Thank you so much for going on that foodie adventure and sharing the results. Now I'm actually curious to try it!

Tammy said...

That is quite the recipe! I would never have thought you actually used the WHOLE clementine!!

I may have to give this one a try. Now that I can eat citrus again, I'm craving it all the time! (It gave me migraines in Colorado, but doesn't here in Oregon! Weird!) :)

aliceinparis said...

That cake looks and sounds wonderful!!!
Congrats on your review. Looks great over there on the food network!

Poires au Chocolat said...

I love that recipe - it's always so moist and tasty. I've tried it with whole blood oranges too and like to drizzle it with spiced chocolate. Do try it with other citrus too, it's lovely!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, isnt that so cool, published by the food newtwork, amazing! Congrats:D
This cake looks beautiful, I have got to try it.
*kisses* HH

Janice said...

Ah you have to love Nigella, always a surprise. Every oven is different so you just have to get to know your own. Mind you, the amount of baking you do I would think you know yours quite well lol!

Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

Great job Suzie. This looks wonderful. Way to go with the conversions! So exciting that the shared your restaurant reveiw!

AvaDJ said...

The cake looks perfect, golden and citrusy, I think I'm going to have to try this as well, I really love a simple but tasty cake/torte, goes wonderful with a nice espresso.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

I have been wanting to try this for a very long time - it always looked a little intimidating. Now I feel confident that I can do it and not worry if it looks burned! I have a bunch of clementines that need to be used up soon so might be my chance!

Moe said...

I've been PVRing her show and saw the episode where she made this. I had intended to make it from the tv but deleted it by accident. I'm glad I found your explanation/review of the recipe.

Suzie Ridler said...

I am so glad you found the post helpful and informative Moe! Good luck with making it, I hope you love it as much as I did.