Friday of this last week marked Candlemas, the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox. Only halfway?! I hear you shout. Well, me too. I’m suffering a little Winter fatigue, not least because I’m craving all the new season Spring goodness I know is just around the corner. While I eagerly await the first forced rhubarb (yet to arrive in these parts) I’m making the most of Winter oranges before they come to an end. This Rick Stein clementine, almond and olive oil cake is a true citrus celebration. It uses the whole fruit, skin and all – much like my beloved Mary Berry whole lemon cake (one of my all-time most popular posts, thanks Mary) – making it relatively simple to whip up and deliciously moist. The olive oil adds a nutty depth of flavour, along with the moreish almonds. To make it, you will need:
2 clementines (about 200g), scrubbed
4 large eggs
Zest one large lemon
160g caster sugar
100ml olive oil
175g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar, to dust
For the syrup:
15g caster sugar
Juice of one large lemon.
Put the whole clementines in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20–30 minutes until they are tender. Remove and set aside until cool. Cut the fruit in half and discard any pips. Put the skin and pulp in a food processor and blend to a paste.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C. Grease and line a 20cm tin. Whisk the eggs, lemon zest and caster sugar in a bowl.
Add the olive oil and beat until light and well combined.
Add the clementine paste and stir, then fold in the ground almonds and baking powder.
Spoon the mix into the prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until risen and golden. The cake should have shrunk from the sides and be springy to touch. Leave to cool in the tin while you make the syrup.
Warm the sugar and lemon juice in a small pan until the sugar has dissolved. Make small holes all over the cake with a skewer and drizzle over the syrup. Let the cake cool completely in the tin, then turn out onto a serving plate.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream and orange segments, if you want.
What are you baking this weekend? How are you brightening Winter in your kitchen?