This flourless cake is made with whole clementines, that includes the rind, the pith and the pulp, basically everything except for the seeds get pureed then mixed with eggs, sugar and ground almonds. I love adding citrus zest to desserts, they add such a nice flavour but anyone who has ever watched food network or read a few recipes knows to avoid the pith, simply because it’s bitter, well, the cake is not bitter at all, each bite is full of clementine flavour and has the delicate texture of the ground almonds which also makes it gluten-free.
Not only is the cake gluten-free, it’s also dairy free, so, there is no butter to cream, no sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk to add, with just a few simple, basic ingredients you get a delicious cake. It’s also super moist, to the point that the crumb looks like the crumb of a cake drenched in syrup. The ingredients are simple and so is the preparation, once the clementines are cooked, everything gets blended in a food processor, a few sliced almonds or a light dusting of icing sugar right before serving is more than enough. Nigella recommends baking it the day before and I couldn’t agree more, I think the cake improves with time, besides being able to make a dessert ahead of time makes it perfect for entertaining.
I think it’s worth mentioning that since the cake is both flour and dairy free, it’s also a good dessert to make for Passover, well, I know, I know, there is that small detail, the baking powder, but that can simply be omitted without sacrificing taste or texture and the cake will still rise like the one with the leavener. To make this cake kosher for Passover, I separate the eggs, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, combine the yolks with the rest of the ingredients and mix the egg whites into the cake batter.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
- 4-5 clementines
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar)
- 2 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 375F; prepare a 9 inch springform pan by layering a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and on the sides, set aside.
Wash the clementines very well and place in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring it to a boil, lower the heat and cook until the clementines are very soft, drain and let them cool.
Halve the clementines to remove any pits and place in a food processor, pulse until pureed, add the eggs and the sugar, pulse to combine, add the ground almond and baking powder, and pulse again briefly until the mixture looks smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for about 40 minutes, a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean. To prevent the top of the cake get too dark, tent it with a piece of aluminum foil about 20-25 minutes after placing it in the oven.