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Dec 22, 2006 08:06 PM

Clementine Cake - ground almond and pan questions.

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!

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  1. 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

      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

        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

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

      2. 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

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

          1. re: MMRuth

            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

            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

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

                1. re: Shrinkrap

                  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!

              1. re: oakjoan

                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.


              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                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.

              3. 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. 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

                    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. 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.