Adapted from Dawn Datso
Sasha Maslov for The New York Times
By JOHN WILLOUGHBY
This dessert, loosely based on a Sephardic orange cake, uses whole clementines, peels and all, for a flavor rich in citrus. The cooking time may seem long, but much of it doesn’t require much attention from the baker. And the first step, reducing the fruit, may be done ahead of time.
3 3/4 hours
1.Place whole unpeeled clementines in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 2 hours, adding more water as needed. Remove clementines with a slotted spoon and, once cool enough to handle, halve and remove any seeds or other hard bits. Purée in a food processor or blender and set aside. (May be done up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.)
2.Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking oil, line bottom with parchment paper and spray paper with oil.
3.In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the sugar, salt and clementine purée. Add the almond flour and baking powder and stir until just combined.
4.Pour into prepared pan and bake until edges are golden brown and starting to pull away from sides of pan, about 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack set over baking sheet. After 10 minutes, run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake; remove cake from pan. Peel off parchment paper and return cake to wire rack to cool completely. Decorate with dusting of powdered sugar or with chocolate glaze or candied clementines, or both.
8 to 12 servings
Here is a delicious icing that was specifically developed for the clementine cake, but can complement all kinds of desserts. It’s best made in a double boiler, but if you don’t have one, other pans will do, as described here.
20 minutes, plus time to set
1.Heat a pan of water until simmering. Place all ingredients, plus 5 teaspoons water, in a slightly smaller metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the pan. Stir gently with a spatula until nearly all the chocolate has melted, then remove bowl from heat and set aside to finish melting, stirring occasionally until perfectly smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. The glaze is ready to pour when it is between 88 and 90 degrees.
2.Pour glaze onto center of the cake’s top and let it run down the sides. Gently tap the cooling rack up and down so the glaze coats the entire cake. Let set for at least an hour before serving.
About 1 3/4 cups
These intensely flavorful slices are the perfect garnish for a Clementine Cake and any other dessert that calls for a sweet dash of citrus. Though cooking down the fruit takes hours, you can start the simmer and leave it, checking in only occasionally. The sugar syrup left after the clemetines are removed is worth saving for cocktails or even pouring over pancakes.
4 1/2 hours
1.In a saucepan combine the sugar with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the clementine slices, reduce heat to simmer, and place a piece of parchment paper over top of liquid to keep clementines submerged. Simmer 2 hours, then remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
2.Heat oven to 250 degrees. Lay a Silpat mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet, place clementine slices in a single layer on top (making sure they lie flat), then cover with a second mat or layer of parchment and top that with a second baking sheet. Put in oven and bake for 2 hours, then remove from oven. (Reserve citrus-infused syrup in refrigerator for cocktails or other uses.)
3.When cool enough to handle, remove top baking sheet and carefully peel away top mat or parchment. Carefully lift and peel the candied citrus slices and set aside until ready to use.
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