“Oh my darling, oh my darling
Oh my darling, Clementine
You were lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorrow, Clementine.”
The benefit of using clementines instead of oranges is that they seem to have less membrane or pithy parts and are fairly juicy and full of orange flavor. Also they are easier to peel. Make sure you zest them before peeling though! This recipe calls for one springform pan, but you can also divide the batter between two 8-inch round cake pans or three 6-inch round cake pans if you want a two or three layer cake. I reckon a good vanilla buttercream or glaze would be perfect for it, preferably with the black specks of a vanilla bean pod in it.
I initially wanted to make a frosting for it but we were low on butter and didn’t want to have to make an extra trip to the grocery store. If you really want to go all out with this, you can make candied clementine slices for the top. I do not have a good reason for not going fancy with it and making candied clementines for the top, but since the Wikipedia page for clementine cake mentions powdered sugar as one possible way to top the cake, that was good enough for me!
clementine almond cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine almond meal
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature, divided
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 4-5 small clementine oranges
3/4 cup pureed clementines
1/4 cup whole milk or any milk substitute
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray with baking spray an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, then spray or grease again. Make sure paper is flat on the bottom. Set aside.
Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two separate large bowls. Set aside.
Zest 4-5 clementines and set aside. After peeling them, put them in a food processor or blender to puree the clementine segments. Set aside.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, almond meal, and clementine zest into a medium bowl and stir with a whisk several times. Set aside.
In the bowl with the egg yolks, add the sugar, oil, and vanilla and almond extracts and beat until lighter in color and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
In a small glass or bowl combine the ¼ cup milk with the 3/4 cup pureed clementines.
Alternate adding a little of the flour mixture followed by adding a little of the milk/clementine mixture until all is blended into the batter, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. Set aside.
Using clean beaters in the bowl with the egg whites, add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice and beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Add about half of the egg whites into the batter and fold in until blended in. Add the rest of the egg whites until incorporated into the batter and no white streaks of egg whites are visible in the batter.
Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake in the center rack of the oven for about 55-60 minutes. Until golden brown on top and a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean. Do not open oven door to check on cake unless it is almost the end of it’s baking time! This batter tends to dip in the middle easily, and opening the oven door when it’s not fully baked in the middle is one sure way the cake batter will dip in the middle! Just saying.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before removing from the springform pan. If sides of the cake are sticking to the sides of the pan, use a small sharp knife and go lightly around the cake before removing the sides. Dust top with confectioners sugar before slicing and serving, or make a vanilla clementine whipped cream topping. Use clementine segments for garnish also if desired.