I’ve gone through phases of cooking cakes made with almond meal instead of flour and I do like them very much indeed. But then time passes and in my mind grows some misnomer about how they’re fidly or take too long or some such other excuse for not making them more often.
Then the other night the Nigella Bites episode was on where she made her Clementine Cake and I had an idea. Clementines for me are deeply associated with a time long ago when I went to Italy with my school. Yes yes, I was one of those private school girls. If it’s any consolation, the airfare/trip cost was an entire term deposit my mum had put aside for me from some money she’d inherited from a family friend and the spending money was almost entirely my own from the previous two years of working as a check-out chick at Kmart. So you see, while I might have been one of those private school girls, I wasn’t really at all (as opposed to the girls on the trip who just had their own Gold Amex without limits of any kind).
Anyway, our pensione in Florence was very close to the town’s fresh produce market where I would venture at every opportunity and make the shop owners teach me how to pronounce the names of everything correctly. Clementines were very cheap and something I had never seen before. As it was, it has only been in the last 6 months that I saw them in Australia and even then it was only at Fratelli Fresh. They were as divine as I had remembered them. But that was about four months ago and the season is now long gone. In their place I am equally enarmoured by the tangelo . They’re juicy, tangy, easy to peel with very few seeds. I mean, talk about win win win. So I came up with this:
- 3 tangelos
- 6 eggs, separated
- 1 heaped cup caster sugar
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1 heaped tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- Cover the tangelos with cold water in a saucepan and boil for two hours and allow to cool in the water
- Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 24cm (9in) springform tin
- Blend the fruit in a processor until relatively smooth and pale
- Beat the sugar and egg yolks together
- Fold into the pureed tangerines with the almond meal and baking powder
- Beat the egg whites until soft peaks
- Fold into the cake batter then pour into prepared tin
- Bake for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean and its pulling away from the edges.