Rosie Makes: Star Anise, Almond and Clementine Cake

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

As my December Rosie Makes will attest, I am a huge fan of festive baking. So when January comes round, suddenly I feel a little flat – the first rhubarb is still a distant dream, and Spring’s flavours far off. This year I’m determined to embrace the moment and this is true when it comes to seasonal flavours too. In spite of a dearth of lots of other things, January means an abundance of citrus flavours, such as clementine, blood orange and Seville oranges (for marmalade, which I’m determined to make this year). This star anise, almond and clementine cake has warming notes of aniseed spice – to soothe the post-Christmas baking blues – and is deliciously moist without being overly decadent. The recipe, via Fiona Cairns, is pretty simple too – the most complex part being the syrup, which you need to make a few hours in advance or even the day before if you can, to allow the flavours to fully develop. Try the recipe with oranges when clementines are out of season. To make the syrup, you will need:80ml clementine juice (approx four clementines)
50g light muscovado
6 star anise flowers.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

A few hours before – or the day before if you can – make the syrup. Gently boil the clementine juice, sugar and star anise and reduce down to a syrup (it will further reduce when it cools).

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Put to one side, cover, and leave to infuse and develop the orange and anise flavours.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

When the flavours have infused, make the cake. You will need:

250g butter
225g caster sugar
zest of 4 clementines (I prepared this before I juiced them for the syrup)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
220g ground almonds
80g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan) and grease and line a 20 centimetre round tin. Cream the butter, sugar and clementine zest for about five minutes until very light and fluffy.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Add the eggs very gradually.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Next, fold in the almonds, flour and baking powder using a metal spoon.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. As soon as the cake is cooked, prick holes all over the surface and drizzle evenly with the syrup. Leave the star anise where they fall as decoration. Don’t worry if your cake sinks a little, as it is a very dense batter, and still tastes delicious!

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

What are you baking with clementine?

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

Star anise, almond and clementine cake

 

One comment

  1. […] are some real gems, such as clementine (you can make my star anise, almond and clementine cake here, it’s so lovely to get messages from those of you who already have!) or blood orange – […]

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