Sunday, February 28, 2016

Clementine Cake

I only used four clementines.
Ready to be processed
Clementine paste
Ready to be baked
Right out of the oven
Browned edges and slightly sunken center... :(
This cake is like the fourth season of Sherlock Holmes - it's been waiting for forever to be made.  Like Smitten Kitchen, I was fascinated by the recipe.  Cake with no butter and no flour.  Could that work?  It was my first time making this cake, but I braved it and made this for a dinner invite.  (I also took back-up cookies and a good bottle of wine just in case.  I am actually not that brave...)

The total time invested in this cake was three hours.  Two hours to boil the clementines and about an hour to put all the ingredients together and bake it.  I was very happy with the outcome.  The cake was dense, very moist, had just the right amount of sweet, and it was delicious.  The flavor of the clementines were very evident and, strangely, the cake felt very velvety as if it had chock full of had none.  

I highly recommend the sliced almond topper and powdered sugar finish as the cake itself is not very sweet.  (Another option is to make the glaze like Smitten Kitchen to pour over the cake) This is a very 'adult' cake so I would not recommend this for your child's birthday party.  Everyone at the dinner table seemed to enjoy the cake and I certainly did too.  I made my husband promise to tell me the absolute truth about this cake and he swears it was delicious for him too so I think it's safe to make this cake again.

The Recipe
Clementine Cake adapted by Smitten Kitchen

Sunken Center
  • I don't know if you can see it in the pictures but I actually had a slightly sunken center.  I've baked quite a few cakes in my life and have never had that happen before.  Eeeek~!  I quickly searched the internet for what might have caused it.  Here's what I've found.  
  • I believe my culprit was the baking powder.  Smitten Kitchen's recipe calls for 'heaped' teaspoon full of baking powder.  But, the original recipe asks for just one teaspoon of baking powder.  I went a little overboard with the 'heaped' spoon.  I will go with just one flat teaspoon of baking powder next time.  
Variations & Tips
  • Do not use 'heaped' spoon of baking powder but just a teaspoon as it may cause the cake center to sink.
  • I added sliced almonds and powdered sugar and I will do this every time I make this cake.  Or, I will definitely try the clementine glaze from Smitten Kitchen.  
  • Add the sliced almonds right before putting the cake in the oven.  Add the powdered sugar after the cake has cooled, preferably right before serving.  
  • Since the size of clementines differ, it would be helpful to use a kitchen scale to ensure you don't put too much or too little clementine.  
  • I only used the food processor for the clementines.  I used a handmixer to beat the eggs and the sugar and I folded the rest of the ingredients with a spatula to avoid over-beating.  (Make sure that your baking powder is mixed it well and is not clumped.  This will be disastrous for your cake!)
  • I checked the cake after 30 minutes and my toothpick came out clean so make sure you start checking your cake after 30 minutes.  
  • Ensure you implement the step of tin foiling your cake after 20-30 minutes - put foil over your cake to protect the top from over-browning.  I put foil over the cake after 30 minutes and put it back in the oven for an extra 10 minutes. 
  • My total cooking time was 40 minutes.
  • I used an 8x8 square pan instead of a round pan. My batter would not fit into an 8 inch round pan. 

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