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Clementine cake and Marcella's chicken

  • r

I was prompted by a bowl full of clementines and lemons to try two recipes discussed on the board this week.

In short: thumbs up to both of them.

The Clementine cake was really very easy (heck, it only has five ingredients) and delicious. Since it keeps (and even improves over a few days) it's great to have in the house for impromptu holiday visitors, and I think I'll make another one to take for my sister, who's bringing home her new baby tomorrow and will undoubtedly both enjoy it herself and appreciate having something to serve to callers. This cake is also a good solution to the question of gluten-free desserts, which comes up periodically. I think it might be even better with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Marcella Hazan's lemon chicken was also amazingly easy and delicious -- very moist and flavorful. The drippings made a lovely, lemony gravy, too.

Thanks, everyone, for bringing these to my attention -- they're both going into the rotation.

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  1. A sack of almonds from a friend and the clementines at all the markets has me very curious about the cake. It'd be a nice way to thank him for the almonds.

    How many tangerines (either how many you had, or poundage if you remember) did you use? I don't want to buy too many.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nooodles

      The recipe calls for four or five clementines, or about a pound -- mine were very small and five weighed less than a pound, so I used six. I used the almond meal from TJ's, so it was really easy!

    2. Ruth, can you please post the recipe for the clementine cake. Thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tyler

        It's a Nigella Lawson recipe -- it's all over the web, but I used the version she gave on Good Morning America because it uses standard American measurements (instead of metric, or a weird combination of Imperial and metric, which is what a lot of recipes in Britain use these days).

        Link: http://wchstv.com/gmarecipes/clementi...

      2. I also made the Clementine cake this weekend, also using Trader Joe's almond meal. I like the cake in general--it reminds me of a quick bread in texture and taste. I would like to make it again using a different almond meal. TJ's almond meal includes the almond skins, which I'm not used to in an almond meal, and I don't like the scratchiness in the back of the throat and texture the skins cause.

        1. I too, made the Clementine cake this weekend (recipe posted earlier from another Hound is linked below). I haven't had time to post photos, but I wanted to ask you all about the height of this cake. She says use "a heaping teaspoon" of baking powder. Now that really bugs me. Can't she measure exactly how many her "heaping" size is????

          So I heaped the baking powder into my measuring teaspoon, and then I measured the heap: it was 2 and 1/4 teaspoons. Thinking that sounds way too much, I removed 1/4 teaspoon and a bit more (about 1/8 tsp) and used the remaining (around 1 5/8 tsp).

          Well, my cake pouffed like a little volcano (the very middle was twice as high as the 8" cake pan), and after 50 minutes I slid it out to start checking witha toothpick. I had to check twice more after that, at 55 and 60 minutes. By the time it was 60 minutes, when I decided it's done, it had deflated to half its height. I took it out and 5 minutes later it deflated to be completely flat with the pan.

          So frustrating! Is is supposed to be completely flat? What caused the volcano, and why did it completely collapse? Too much baking powder? And goddangit, can you tell me exactly how many tsp is in one "heaping" tsp??

          Link: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/recipe...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Alice Patis
            c
            ChowFun (derek)

            I found this variation based on Nigellas' recipe..with more exact measurements..I haven't tried it yet, but I felt it was the one I would try.

            Link: http://www.joyofbaking.com/Clementine...

            1. re: Alice Patis

              Hmmm ... I just used a heaping teaspoon -- this recipe isn't that precise (consider the imprecision of the quantity of clementines), nor do I think it's the type of recipe you have to be particularly finicky with.

              Mine puffed up a little, and then collapsed as it cooled to, as you said, the rim of the pan. No volcano. I don't think too much baking powder would cause a reaction like that, though. A couple of variables might be the size of the pan and the heat of the oven -- I used the 8-inch springform the recipe calls for and it was filled almost full, and a little ran over while it baked (I'll put a cookie sheet under it next time). I have an antique (literally) stove, so I use an oven thermometer to set the temperature, but it was a shade under 350. I can see that you might get a reaction like the one you described if the oven was too hot when you put it in, causing it to rise very quickly.

            2. Big thumbs up & thanks from me too on the Clementine cake. Fantastic moist texture like a steamed pudding or tres leches cake but with a firmer nut crumb. Faint bittersweet citrus peel and eggy flavors reminded me of Cuban flan. Was sad when we finished off the last piece!

              I used blanched almonds and ground them in a blender.

              Image: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22...

              2 Replies
              1. re: petradish

                That's very pretty -- mine, made with almond meal that included skins, was much more rustic looking (like the one pictured in the version of the recipe derek linked, below). I'll have to try it with ground, blanched almonds some time.

                Image: http://www.joyofbaking.com/images/ora...

                1. re: petradish

                  wow that looks gorgeous! i've got to try it!

                2. s
                  sally from LA

                  I made the cake last night. I ground blanched almonds in the food processor, as my local store didn't stock ground almonds or almond meal. What a great cake for so little effort!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sally from LA

                    How many almonds did you need? Nigella's recipe says 250 g in European (or about 9 ounces), but in american units says 2.5 cups ground almonds, which I would think would require quite a bit more than 9 ounces. Maybe they mean 2.5 cups almonds, ground (which of course is different than 2.5 cups ground almonds). I guess I'd go with the European, but was wondering what you used.

                    1. re: Donna Gresh

                      Not necessarily. One family recipe requires two pounds of ground almonds and they fill quite a larger bowl than one would expect.

                      1. re: Donna Gresh

                        Ground almonds have a bigger volume than the same weight of whole almonds because of all the air between the grains -- it's "fluffier." I had a 16-ounce bag of almond meal and didn't use nearly all of it, so I think nine ounces is probably correct.

                    2. I, too made Nigella's clementine cake last night -- but I wanted little cakes to gift at work, so as long as I was at the local supply/gourmet store getting almond flour I also picked up mini paper loaf pans. I made a double batch, which made eleven mini loaves. After cooling them overnight, I drizzed some dark chocolate ganache over each -- SO good!