Today I share with you a wonderful recipe for Clementine Cake. I know, that sounds unusual, but it was pretty easy and unexpected. The cake is really moist and not too overwhelming. And, for those of you who care, it’s gluten free! Honestly that didn’t even occur to me until I was mid-baking, but yay for those of you who are looking for something new that is flourless. This cake is also one of those that tastes better the next day – if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, that is. Because I’m not taking my baked goods into the office anymore, I always have leftovers nowadays, and you might be in the same boat.
The Clementine Cake recipe below includes a chocolate ganache and decorative candied oranges. These can both be omitted if you’re looking for a simpler alternative. Should you wish to skip the ganache, simply dust with powdered sugar and you’ll be set.
The candied orange peel should ideally be made the day before. It’s simple to make, but requires some time to dry out (preferably overnight) or it will be quite sticky when you put it on the cake. I’ve shared with you a Candied Orange Peel recipe with you before, and the recipe below is quite similar but uses entire slices just because it looks pretty. Similarly, the clementine purée can be made up to three days ahead of time.
Unlike a ganache I shared with you previously, this one does not use heavy cream, but increases the butter and adds some Karo syrup for shine. Omit syrup if you object.
Candied Orange Peel
1 orange or clementine
1 c water
1 c sugar
5 medium clementines
2 c finely ground blanched almonds (can be replaced with almond flour)
6 large eggs
1 c sugar
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
6 oz. dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
9 T butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
2 t. Karo syrup
1 T water
Candied orange Instructions
- Candied oranges are completely optional for this recipe – serving decorative purposes (and they’re tasty) but by no means required. Should you wish to take this step, it should be done the day before to allow time for the oranges to dry.
- Slice an orange or clementine about 1/8” thick. This is not too difficult if you have a mandoline and use the thick setting. If you cut your oranges too thick they won’t be delicate, but if they’re too think they won’t hold their shape.
- Prepare a bowl of ice water, set aside.
- Bring a saucepan full of water to boil, and drop in the orange slices. Boil for two minutes to remove the bitterness from the peel and pith.
- Immediately transfer oranges to ice bath to stop cooking. Discard water.
- Combine water and sugar in saucepan to create a simple syrup; bring to a boil. Once boiling, add orange slices and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove from water and place on a wire cooling rack. (Have a baking tray underneath to catch the drips.) Sprinkle with sugar. These will gradually cool and dry off. Best to just let them sit overnight or longer.
- Dredge in granulated sugar before serving for added sweetness.
Clementine Cake Instructions
- Place whole, unpeeled clementines in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 2 hours. Check occasionally and add water if necessary to keep the oranges from burning.
- Remove oranges from water and allow to cool. Once cool, halve and remove any seeds or stems. Puree in a food processor or blender. Set aside. Refrigerate if you’re not making the cake immediately.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment, and spray that as well. Set aside.
- Make almond flour. In a food processor, grind blanched almonds (can use slices, slivers, etc. as you have available) to create 2 c of flour. If you have almond flour on hand, you’re good to go.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, and clementine purée. Add almond flour and baking powder, stirring until just combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until edges are golden, 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge to loosen, and remove cake from pan. Peel off parchment and continue to cool completely.
Chocolate Ganache Instructions
- Place all ingredients in a double boiler and stir gently until completely melted and smooth, about 10 minutes. This can also be done in the microwave, but use short, careful intervals to check and stir the chocolate.
- Remove from heat to cool slightly, It’s best to spread when around 90 degrees, and slightly thicker than when it first comes off the stove.
- Pour glaze onto center of the cake’s top and let it run down the sides. A bit of uneven drips are ok. Let set for at least an hour before serving.
- Store at room temperature.