Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I am calling today's post "Leap of Faith Cake," because it is a cake that requires you boil citrus for two hours, has no flour, six eggs, ground almonds, etc. It is a recipe from that voluptuous babe of the English kitchen Nigella Lawson - so maybe not such a leap as I have only tried a few of her recipes and have been very happy with each one.  If cooking shows had a rating system Nigella and the Italian bombshell Giada De Laurentiis would be "R" rated.  Really, Giada had her adorable little girl and a few weeks later was her normal size 2 again - like me in second grade!
The recipe calls for clementines but the ones at my local store were like me old and tired but the tangelos were beautiful.  Two was not enough, but three too much so I will only use half of the big one in my cake.
 I used my small food processor to grind the almonds.
Another leap of faith, since I had the processor in use I ground enough almonds to do a second cake. The recipe calls for 2 1/3 cups of ground almonds and I would say I used about 1 3/4 pounds almonds or a little less - sorry I did not measure.
 Measured, labeled and into the freezer for next time.
After two hours the fruit is very soft....
Cut in half (as across the equator) and take out any seeds and if necessary trim the ends.
Whirl them in the food processor, skin, pith and all (it smells so good). My only tweak to this recipe was a pinch of salt, 1 tsp of vanilla & because I was using tangelos I used 1 1/4 cups of sugar as they are not as sweet as the clementines.
Nigella's recipe calls for using butter and parchment paper in the spring form pan but I sprayed with a spray that also has flour and it worked just fine. Also recipe called for 8" springform pan and mine is 9" and the larger size worked too.

Out of the oven and my oven the cooking time was one hour.
 Now it needs to cure for a day or two.

Cooks notes:  After 24 hours we had some and oh my, it is hard to describe, so moist, rich, delicious, sweet but not too sweet, aromatic, all good things.  The only thing I would change is next time I will grind the almonds finer - will take the ones I have in the freezer and grind them again in my big food processor or my Ninja blender.  This cake will serve many,  as you only need a small piece.  I would not recommend putting anything on this cake (as in a glaze) but rather serve with a dollop of really good whipped cream and a yummy cup of coffee or hot tea. As I mentioned I added 1 tsp vanilla, a pinch of salt and increased the sugar to 1 1/4 cups because I was using tangelos. This is a unique and I think a special way to end a good meal.

If you do not want the skins on your almonds you can boil them and let them cool and take the skins off, I did not do this.

The difference between almond flour and almond meal - Almond flour is ground more finely and usually made from blanched almonds without skins.  Almond meal is coarser than almond flour and usually still has on the skins.

Nigella's Clementine Cake Recipe:

4-5 clementines - 1# total weight
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2T sugar
2 1/3 ground almonds
1 heaping tsp baking powder

*I used 1 1/4 cups sugar (because I used tangelos), a pinch of salt, and 1tsp vanilla.

Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, and cook for two hours. Drain and when cool cut each clementine in half, remove any seeds. Then cut the fruit in big chunks and either chop or preferably put into the food processor.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter and line an 8-ince springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs.  Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines. I used my mixer and it worked great - Nigella says no food processor for this - if you don't have a mixer just stir by hand.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake 1 hour - I always set any springform pan on a baking sheet.  After about 40 minutes set some foil over the cake to keep it from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan on a rack.  When the cake is completely cool you can take it out of the pan. The cake needs to "cure" for a day or two - it is better then but it can be eaten as soon as it cools.

A glaze can be added after it cools - mix powdered sugar with water to form a paste, then add fresh lemon juice and a little water until it is thing enough to drizzle over the cake.


Recipe, Nigella Lawson
Labels, Martha Stewart labels by Avery, at Staples

Thank you for stopping by.



  1. DELICIOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. It is very good & does not dry out at all! Thank you for stopping by.