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Gluten-free clementine & almond cake with pomegranat­es


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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