Seasonality is one of the most important elements of my cooking. I want the food I eat to change with the seasons, and to enjoy ingredients at their very best.
That said, there are times when this doesn’t fit with life. Having been given a net of clementines by a relative recently, I wasn’t feeling that enthused to eat them. With a fridge groaning with fresh berries and cherries, all of which with a short shelf-life, we just didn’t get round to eating them. And so, I turned to one of my all-time favourite cake recipes to use them up – with a slight twist.
The addition of cardamom gives this cake a slightly different feel – a lean away from Europe. It makes a fantastic pudding, at any time of the year. Even in the summer months, it is fantastic served with some fresh raspberries, and maybe even some softly whipped cream and slithers of pistachio. It is equally lovely on it’s own with a cup of coffee.
Although it may seem a faff, I recommend you cooking and pureeing the clementines before you weigh them. 6-8 clementines should yield the quantity you require for the recipe. Any excess freezes well to use next time. I should also add that the tin used is a very useful one to have, if you don’t have one already. The ones I use are made by Silverwood.
Clementine, cardamom and almond cake
Makes 16 slices
450g clementines, cooked and pureed and then weighed.
250g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
3 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
Plus a few flaked almonds to top the cake
1) Start with the clementines. Remove the calyx, and place the fruit into a large saucepan. Cover fully with cold water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for around two hours until the fruit is soft.
2) Drain and allow to cool. Blitz in a food processor until it becomes a smooth puree.
3) Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a 12 x 8 inch traybake tin with greaseproof paper and set aside.
4) In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together well until fluffy.
5) Gradually add the egg, a third of the mixture at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the ground almonds.
6) Finally, fold in the cooled clementine mixture and cardamom seeds.
7) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Top with flaked almonds if using and bake for 25-35 minutes until lightly browned and firm to the touch.
8) Cool fully on a wire rack before slicing, as this cake will be soft.