It's an orange, it's a tangerine...no, It's a Minneola!!
Well they're not the same thing but they're definately related. Minneola is Clementine's big brother. He's got thicker skin, a darker color and a big big nose. This is the easiest way to identify a Minneola, is the nose, a very distinctive characteristic. A Minneola is really a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit...I remember it as a child because my grandma's neighbour, who is a very close and dear person to our hearts, always made Minneola Preserve, which is very similar to Marmalade. So where do clementines fit in? Well I made Nigella Lawson's Clemetine cake many times and it's always been a big hit. So frankly I saw some great looking minneola's at the market and thought they may work just as well, and they did...actually they worked better. I first saw this recipe on TV and had to try it...the reason was that Nigella used the whole fruit rather than the zest or juice, which I thought must make the flavor very distinctive. Most cakes taste best right out of the oven but this is one cake you want to bake in the evening and let it sit, un-moulded, on your counter till the next morning. While you tea and coffee are brewing this cake will be there waiting for you, and will definately awaken your taste-buds. The reason why you need to wait is because the almonds and the clementine mixture make this cake so soft that it almost feels like it's been drenched in syrup, but if you have it fresh out of the oven it tends to taste a bit too mushy. I did this very thing yesterday night (baked it and left it alone, went to sleep) and this picture was taken at 7am, you can see the morning light seeping through the window, the browned exterior gave way to the golden bright yellow interior and at that moment it resembled a large slab of gold. I couldn't resist trying a couple of slices before heading to work and it was heavenly, true edible gold.
So to the recipe:
225g sugar (i use caster)
250g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
- Prepare two pans, I used a 20 cm spring-form pan and a 25cm loaf pan. Make sure you butter and line them (sides too) with parchment or else the cake will stick.
- Preheat oven to 190ºC.
- Boil clementines (or other citrus fruit) for 2 hours non-stop.
Drain & cool. Cut in half and remove pips.
- Blitz whole fruit in the food processor until completely liquidized (you can add a tiny bit of the liquid to facilitate).
- Mix dry ingredients and add to the fruit, mix very well. Add one egg at a time mixing well after each addition. Mixture will resemble a thick liquid.
- Pour into prepared pans and bake at 190ºC for 1 hour. (if your oven tends to brown cakes quickly then cover cake after 40 mins).
- Take out of the oven and place on a cooling rack for at least an hour (better left overnight). Carefully run a knife around the edges and un-mould (for the spring-form pan) or lift out the cake using the parchment paper (for the loaf pan).