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Clementine Cake - ground almond and pan questions.

MMRuth Dec 22, 2006 08:06 PM

I'm making Nigella Clementine cake for the first time. Can I grind the almonds in a blender? I don't have access to a food processor. There seem to be different thoughts on using blanched almonds vs. non-blanched.

Also - the pan - my Mom has a Bundt pan, a pineapple upside down cake pan and 8" cake pans. I'm going to try to find an 8" springform per the recipes, but not sure I'll be successful. Any thoughts on which to go with?

Again - TIA!

  1. a
    anunez Jan 29, 2009 11:51 AM

    I am so intrigued by this cake. I have to bring a couple things to a brunch bridal shower next weekend. Was going to make muffins and something else - would like cake work well in a brunch setting?

    1 Reply
    1. re: anunez
      hotoynoodle Dec 19, 2010 03:10 PM

      it's a great "afternoon" menu cake and also great for the cook because it's even better after a day or two.

    2. Shrinkrap Jan 24, 2009 08:53 PM

      I don't think anybody answered the blanched or not blanched question. I'm guessing blanching would also serve to remove the skins. I am making the almond polenta cake version in Gourmet. It calls for superfine sugar. I can do regular sugar in the food processor, right? So how would you suggest I go about measuring BEFORE processing it fine"I believe I'm supposed to end up with two cups. Finally, the recipe calls for orange flower water. I'm thinking of almond extract instead. Would vanilla be better?

      Finally, I'm sorta new here, so I try to search before posting, but don't get much action adding on to others threads. Should I just start a new post?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Shrinkrap
        greygarious Jan 25, 2009 09:46 AM

        Put 2 cups or a little more sugar in the food processor and then measure post-processing before adding to your cake. Just return any leftover ground sugar to your sugar bowl -- it's not going to make any difference in your coffee or tea, or even in other baking, since it's a tiny amount. Almond and vanilla extracts are powerful and may overwhelm the orange flavor. I'd either forget about the orange flower water or just add 2 tsp OJ or a tsp of marmalade to the batter.

        1. re: greygarious
          Shrinkrap Jan 25, 2009 09:58 AM

          Thank you!

      2. Shrinkrap Jan 18, 2009 09:50 AM

        Hey! I just opened the latest Gourmet, and there was a recipe for this kind of cake! Actually it was orange polenta cake from Ottolenghi ;The cookbook. can't find it on Epicureous yet.

        Here it is!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shrinkrap
          Shrinkrap Jan 25, 2009 12:51 PM

          Anybody there? That carmel gave me the dickens; I tried it the " wet" way twice, and twice it seized on me.I know I've done fine the" dry" way, so I tried that, but it wouldn't "swirl" into the butter, and got hard quick. I used it anyway and moved in. Found this:


          In the oven. We'll see!

        2. k
          Karen_Schaffer Jan 17, 2009 09:28 PM

          I came across a suggestion to microwave the citrus fruits instead of boiling them for 2 hours. So much easier! It takes just 5-8 minutes depending on size. Be sure to pierce them first and use a covered casserole, just in case. They'll leak a lot of juice.

          Worked great! I made it with blood oranges.

          14 Replies
          1. re: Karen_Schaffer
            Joebob Jan 17, 2009 11:06 PM

            Is that 5-8 min. for two med. to large oranges, assuming highest power?

            1. re: Joebob
              Karen_Schaffer Jan 18, 2009 07:19 AM

              Yes. I think I did more like 3 3-minute segments, turning them a bit in between. It's obvious when they really begin to soften.

            2. re: Karen_Schaffer
              The Dairy Queen Dec 19, 2010 02:28 PM

              Karen, I know this is about 2 years later, but, when you microwave the citrus, do you put any water in there?

              Thank you!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                Karen_Schaffer Dec 19, 2010 03:51 PM

                Luckily they changed the sorting so that old posts get promoted and therefore questions get seen! And to answer the question, no water is needed. I just pierced the oranges a few times with a knife, then microwaved at 2-3 minute increments in a covered glass casserole dish to catch all of the juices that exude. Fast and easy!

                1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                  The Dairy Queen Dec 19, 2010 03:53 PM

                  Excellent. Thank you for sharing this short-cut. I'll make these this week sometime. I'll let you know how it turns out!


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    buttertart Dec 20, 2010 05:44 AM

                    That might just be the ticket to success with this recipe, because the fruit wouldn't get waterlogged. My versions of this have been sodden because of the water in the fruit. Excellent idea!!!

                    1. re: buttertart
                      The Dairy Queen Dec 20, 2010 06:17 AM

                      Oh, that's funny! I was worried that the water was somehow necessary for the recipe, and that's why I wanted to ask Karen to clarify! Well, we'll see!


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        Nyleve Dec 20, 2010 06:23 AM

                        Do you use all the juices that come out of the oranges or do you drain them?

                        1. re: Nyleve
                          The Dairy Queen Dec 20, 2010 06:31 AM

                          Nyleve, which method are you referring to? The microwave method (Karen says here to use a casserole dish to capture all of the juices http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3538... ) or the conventional "boiling" method?


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            Nyleve Dec 20, 2010 06:48 AM

                            I was wondering about the microwave method. I know you drain off all the water when you boil - but wasn't sure about the nuked oranges.

                            1. re: Nyleve
                              The Dairy Queen Dec 20, 2010 06:49 AM

                              Got it. For the MW method, I think you're supposed to retain all of the juices.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                buttertart Dec 20, 2010 06:54 AM

                                It would be nicer because the water gets quite orange and must dilute the flavor.

                                1. re: buttertart
                                  Nyleve Dec 20, 2010 08:08 AM

                                  As reluctant as I am to use the microwave for anything but heating up leftovers, this does sound like a good idea. Will try it next time I make the cake. Thanks -

                      2. re: buttertart
                        Karen_Schaffer Dec 20, 2010 09:20 AM

                        Re: sodden cakes. Even with microwaving the fruit, this is still a very dense, moist cake! Just saying. I think it's not quite as sodden with the microwave method, but I haven't made them side-by-side. That would be an interested experiment, if I ever had time and inclination.

                        I suspect that one gets a stronger flavor from the zest this way because it's not being leached away in the water. Which could be good or bad, depending on your taste!

              2. Shrinkrap Jan 17, 2009 07:15 PM

                Hmm... I've got a ton of almonds in my freezer.

                1. wowimadog Jan 17, 2009 07:25 AM

                  has anyone tried a similar recipe that uses flour instead of nuts?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wowimadog
                    masha Jan 17, 2009 01:14 PM

                    Yes, I posted on this shortly after Christmas. I made a recipe called Aunt Nettie's Orange Nut cake that was very simple and delicious. http://30cakesin30days.wordpress.com/...
                    It's made in a Bundt pan and there was not any real issue of it sticking when I removed it (and I did not use parchment paper to line). I opted for dried cranberries, rather than raisins, and used ground walnuts. The recipe does not specify what kind of nuts to use; I am sure that almonds or pecans would also work.
                    I've never made Nigella's clementine cake so I cannot compare them directly.

                    1. re: masha
                      wowimadog Jan 17, 2009 01:31 PM

                      excellent, thank you! i have been given a ton of homegrown clementines and can't wait to put them to good use! any other recipe suggestions are most welcome!

                      1. re: wowimadog
                        masha Jan 18, 2009 09:10 AM

                        If you make the recipe with clementines, I think that you would want to use 2 or 3. I made it with one very large navel orange.

                  2. Funwithfood Dec 27, 2006 04:13 PM

                    I much prefer shapes (photos below), but you need to use a seriously good non-stick coating:

                    Large: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e108/Funwithfood/IMG_0295-copy.jpg

                    Little Cakes:

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Funwithfood
                      Ruth Lafler Dec 27, 2006 04:19 PM

                      Well done! The other thing, I've found, is that you really do have to let the cake cool before you try to remove it from the pan. The last time I made it instead of butter I used almond oil to oil the parchment, and I think it worked better than butter.

                    2. g
                      GilaB Dec 27, 2006 01:16 AM

                      You don't even need to eliminate the baking powder to make it kosher for Passover - just use baking powder without cornstarch, which is available in stores selling kosher-for-Passover foods.

                      1. cristina Dec 26, 2006 11:49 AM

                        When I saw this topic--clementine cake--and then looked at the recipe, I thought, hmmmm, that sounds familiar.

                        This cake originated with James Beard. It's in *The New James Beard*, which was published in the early 1980s. The original recipe called for two large navel oranges rather than Nigella's clementines. I made one earlier this week. It's deceptively simple, turned out beautifully, and my guests and I loved it.

                        *Orange Almond Cake* (courtesy of James Beard)
                        2 large oranges (preferebly naval seedless)
                        6 eggs
                        1 1/2 c. ground almonds
                        pinch salt
                        1 c sugar
                        1 tsp. baking powder

                        Wash oranges and boil them in water to cover, wthout peeling, until soft about 30 min.
                        Drain, cool, cut into quarters.
                        Process oranges into a moderately fine puree in a blender or food processor.
                        Beat the eggs in a bowl till thick, then add ground almonds, salt, sugar, baking powder and orange puree and mix well.
                        Pour into a buttered and floured deep 9" cake pan at 400 degrees for 1 hour or longer, until firm to the touch.
                        Garnish with orange slices dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, berries or whipped cream.

                        If you use the cake pan that's called for--9" and deep, and your pan is well-buttered and floured, there's no problem with sticking. My cake baked in just under an hour and turned out high, moist, and evenly textured. The Beard recipe is definitely a keeper.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cristina
                          Ruth Lafler Dec 26, 2006 06:43 PM

                          According to a couple of different sources, the original version with the oranges is an old Jewish recipe, because with the baking powder eliminated, it can be made for Passover. Nigella has said that she may have unconsciously based it on a Claudia Roden recipe.

                        2. heatherkay Dec 22, 2006 09:19 PM

                          I just took one of the oven -- I used a 9-inch nonstick loose-bottom tube pan and I baked for about 45 minutes at 325. I just ran a knife around the edge before I popped the bottom off and it came out just fine.

                          1. Ruth Lafler Dec 22, 2006 08:40 PM

                            I would *not* bake it in any kind of pan with ridges or indentations -- it sticks like crazy, which is why the original recipe calls for lining the springform with parchment. Also, the recipe fills an 8-inch springform almost to the rim, and it tends to ooze over a bit when it cooks, so if you use a regular 8-inch pan, you might want to put a parchment collar around the inside and extend it past the rim.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Ruth Lafler
                              MMRuth Dec 22, 2006 08:55 PM

                              Great - thanks - do you think a regular 9" would be better then?

                              1. re: MMRuth
                                Ruth Lafler Dec 22, 2006 09:12 PM

                                A nine-inch would probably work okay (and probably cook faster -- mine always takes longer than the hour the recipe calls for). But since the cake doesn't rise much, it might be thinner than you would like.

                              2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                oakjoan Dec 22, 2006 09:02 PM

                                Ditto on the sticking! I put parchment on the bottom and sides of the springform pan when I baked it. When I used a bundt pan at a later date, with a tube middle, pieces of the cake broke off and it looked really awful but still tasted fantastic.

                                I'm now in love with the polenta/rice flour/ground almond cake in my new Rose Bakery Cookbook. More stable than the clementine cake.

                                1. re: oakjoan
                                  PamelaD Dec 27, 2006 12:26 PM

                                  Do you have a link or can you share the recipe for the polenta/rice/almond cake?

                                  1. re: PamelaD
                                    Shrinkrap Jan 18, 2009 10:03 AM


                                    No rice, though

                                    1. re: Shrinkrap
                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 18, 2009 11:53 AM

                                      thanks, that's a good one too - there are a lot of similar recipes out there. but in addition to rice flour, the Rose Bakery recipe also contains lemon, not orange.

                                      i may have to just go to the bookstore & copy it down from the book!

                                  2. re: oakjoan
                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 18, 2009 07:49 AM

                                    i know this post is a couple of years old, but oakjoan, if you see this (or if someone else does who can help), would you be willing to post the Rose Bakery Lemon, Rice & Polenta Cake recipe? i've been wanting to get my hands on that one for a while.


                                  3. re: Ruth Lafler
                                    Ruth Lafler Dec 26, 2006 04:47 AM

                                    I made the cake again today (third time in a week!), and this time I think I perfected it! After suggesting that someone make a parchment collar, I decided to try it. The first time I didn't get the paper in right, but I still thought the cake came out much better: it rose more and even though the top cracked, it was still a prettier shape than the flatter shape you get without the collar. This time I got the parchment in just right, and the cake came out perfectly: evenly browned and slightly domed; the paper slipped off easily, leaving the sides smooth and browned.

                                  4. JoanN Dec 22, 2006 08:21 PM

                                    Yes, you can grind nuts in a blender. Pulse, as you would in a food processor, and keep checking. It would probably be a good idea to add a bit of whatever flour you're using in the recipe to the nuts to help keep them dry and so they'll grind more uniformly.

                                    I don't even know what a pineapple upside down cake pan is. ;-)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: JoanN
                                      MMRuth Dec 22, 2006 08:23 PM

                                      I think it has indentations for the pineapple rings! Haven't dug into the cupboard yet to check it out again. Thanks for the almond tip.

                                      1. re: JoanN
                                        Marge Dec 22, 2006 08:27 PM

                                        I have one in the oven as I type made with regular oranges. Since there is no flour in this recipe, I grind the nuts along with the sugar (I used "sugar in the raw"). My house smells so good! Enjoy.

                                        1. re: Marge
                                          JoanN Dec 22, 2006 08:29 PM

                                          Oh, sorry. Don't know the recipe. And you're right. Sugar will have the same effect.

                                          1. re: JoanN
                                            Marge Dec 23, 2006 02:59 PM

                                            Here's the recipe. A big hit at my house!


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