Flourless Clementine Cake

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Have you ever been watching TV or a movie and they mention something that you’ve never heard of, but everyone in the show seems to act like it’s mainstream? I feel so left out when I have to Google just to be in the know. The Kid and I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty to entertain ourselves the other night.

It’s an awesome movie in our opinion by the way. It really spoke to me and made me want to travel. I digress, but see it. In the movie, Walter’s mom made a clementine cake. A what? Have you heard of it? It seemed to be common knowledge in the movie and it was news to me. I hopped on Google to see what all the fuss was about.

Clementines, yes. In a cake, interesting. Apparently it’s an Italian specialty and Nigella Lawson makes one frequently. After reading through the ingredients, I was intrigued that it had no flour in it but used almond meal instead. I got to work in modifying the recipe based on Nigella’s and made my very own version… after stopping at the store to buy two clementines of course.

Flourless Clementine CakeFlourless Clementine Cake
2 medium clementines (approx 9 – 10 oz)
4 large eggs
2/3 cup baking stevia or sugar
6 oz almond meal or ground almonds (approx 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Place the unpeeled clementines in a pot filled with water and bring to a slow boil. Lower heat slightly and simmer for 90 minutes until the clementines are soft. Remove from the water and pull of the little green stem piece from each clementine if it’s there. (Does that part have an official name?)

Slice each clementine in half and remove the seeds. You can skip this step if you purchased the seedless variety. Place the clementines in a food processor or Magic Bullet, and blend into a puree. Yes, blend the peels and all. It doesn’t have to be completely liquid but you don’t want large chunks of pulp.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 7 inch springform pan with tin foil and spray the foil with non-stick spray. If you trust your springform pan to not leak, you can skip the foil. For some reason, I’m never that trusting. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a mixer or whisk well until the eggs are foamy. I beat mine for about a minute.

Add the remaining ingredients along with the clementine puree and mix well. Pour into your prepared springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Check for doneness by inserting a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and check again.

Remove from oven and cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing. Makes 8 servings at approximately 185 calories each – 8g protein, 9g carbs, and 13g fat.

Notes

  • I used zero calorie baking stevia in my cake and thought it turned out perfectly. It was dense and moist inside with no strange aftertaste. If you try with a half stevia/half sugar or an all sugar blend, let me know what you think of that version.
  • I used Bob’s Red Mill almond meal since I had that on hand for baking and sprinkling on yogurt and cereal. You can also grind whole or sliced almonds into meal using a food processor or blender. Be careful not to over blend though. You want crumbly meal and not almond butter.
  • Check on the cake after about 40 minutes to make sure the top isn’t browning too much. You can cover it with foil to prevent it from burning if you need to. I made sure that my cake was right in the middle of the oven so it cooked pretty evenly.

I was very impressed with this cake’s flavor and the elegant look of it. When I handed The Kid her piece, she remarked at how fancy it looked. I love those recipes that look like they took effort but really didn’t. The hardest part was boiling the clementines for 90 minutes and I cleaned the house while they were in their stove top hot tub.

Keep in mind that I’ve never had Nigella’s version of the cake nor even heard of it before this, so I can’t compare my version to any others. I liked the flavor combination and it reminded me of that chocolate orange shaped candy that you break apart into slices. It’s also perfect for those on a low carb or gluten free diet.

I sliced the cake and refrigerated the leftovers. It was even better the day for some reason. Have you heard of clementine cake or am I the only one who was in the dark?

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