Gluten-free cle­men­tine & al­mond cake with pomegranates

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - LORRAINE ESPECIAL -

My friend Satya gave me her ver­sion of an or­ange cake when I went for tea at her house. It was rich and slightly bit­ter, but also sweet with the tang of or­ange that lasted well af­ter you had fin­ished the fi­nal bite. This is my ver­sion of her beau­ti­ful cake and I hope that I can do it jus­tice. I’ve used clemen­tines but you could re­place them with two large or­anges in­stead, boil­ing them for a lit­tle longer. It is best to serve this spongy cake while it is warm. SERVES 10-12 5 medium clemen­tines, scrubbed (but not peeled) 120g but­ter, soft­ened (I use salted) 150g soft light brown sugar 50g honey 3 medium eggs 320g ground al­monds ½ tsp ground cin­na­mon 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der (gluten-free) FOR THE OR­ANGE SYRUP zest and juice of 1 large or­ange 150g soft light brown sugar TO DEC­O­RATE large hand­ful of pome­gran­ate seeds hand­ful of toasted flaked al­monds ic­ing sugar (op­tional) EQUIP­MENT 20cm round loose-bot­tomed cake tin, at least 7.5cm deep food pro­ces­sor hand-held elec­tric whisk or stand mixer 1 Pre­heat the oven to 180C (fan 160C/350F/gas 4) and line the tin with bak­ing parch­ment. Pop the clemen­tines in a large pan, then cover with wa­ter and bring to the boil. Re­duce the heat, then cover with a lid and sim­mer for 45 min­utes, or un­til the clemen­tines are su­per soft – this makes them much less bit­ter. Al­low the clemen­tines to cool down a lit­tle and then put them into a food pro­ces­sor and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside. 2 Put the but­ter and sugar in a large bowl and beat them well with the hand-held elec­tric whisk un­til light and fluffy. Then add the honey and beat for an­other minute or so. Add two of the eggs and half the ground al­monds and beat un­til well com­bined. Then add the other egg with the rest of the al­monds along with the cle­men­tine purée, cin­na­mon and bak­ing pow­der. Beat again un­til evenly com­bined. You can, of course, use a stand mixer to do this. 3 Tip the mix­ture into the lined tin and cover it loosely with foil. Pop the tin in the oven to bake for about 55-60 min­utes or un­til a skewer in­serted in the cen­tre of the cake comes out clean. 4 About 15 min­utes be­fore the cake is ready, make the or­ange syrup. Put the or­ange zest and juice in a small pan with the soft light brown sugar and place over a low heat un­til the sugar dis­solves, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. Once the sugar has dis­solved, turn up the heat and boil it for about 5 min­utes or un­til the or­ange syrup has thick­ened and re­duced slightly. Set aside un­til needed. 5 Once the cake is baked, re­move it from the oven and care­fully take it out of the tin. Trans­fer to a cake stand or serv­ing plate, and while it is still hot, brush the syrup all over the top and sides. I am gen­er­ous with the syrup so that the cake is sticky, well soaked and full of flavour. Scat­ter the pome­gran­ate seeds and flaked al­monds over the cake and dust with ic­ing sugar, if us­ing. Trans­fer any left­over syrup to a lit­tle jug and serve with the cake. ➤

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