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Sunday, July 16, 2023

Mandarin Orange (or Clementine) Cake


Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Last weekend, we were at the Jersey Shore hanging out with my husband's college buddies. What did we do there? A little beach time, some boardwalk-ing. Lots of eating, drinking, and discussing the end of America as we know it — which led to more drinking and eating. Everyone brought food and beverages and our lovely hosts made it all work together seamlessly into a splendid holiday.

One of the things I tried for the first time, was an orange-flavored cake with only 5 ingredients, by Nigella Lawson. But of course I ended up putting my own spin on it. The recipe calls for almond flour — it's naturally gluten-free! — but I didn't have any almond flour, so instead I used a combo of half Bob's Red Mill hazelnut flour and half grain-free paleo flour. The recipe is also dairy-free. And, lastly, I switched out the sugar for Erythritol (alternative sweetener sold under the brand name Swerve) so I could eat it.

You can do an optional glaze using lemon or orange juice and confectioners sugar, but I think it's intense enough as it is. Perhaps a chocolate drizzle is in order? Other changes I made to original recipe were the inclusion of ground coriander, cinnamon, and mace. The original recipe said to use a springform pan, but I opted for a parchment-lined square pyrex dish and it cooked perfectly. I left the edges of the parchment paper tall so I could use it to lift the cake out of the pan. Here is my recipe, but please note this can be experimented with and certainly improved. Say ... with the always sexy tangerine, or lemon or lime or grapefruit. Note: the amount of sugar you use will need to be adjusted depending on the citrus.

5 whole mandarin or clementine oranges (total 375 grams)
220 grams Swerve granular sugar substitute
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 grams hazelnut flour
125 grams Paleo grain free flour
1/4 teaspoon mace (you can substitute nutmeg)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander

Put the oranges in a pot, cover with water, partially cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for two hours. Keep an eye on it, as the water has a tendency to boil off. Drain and let cool. Cut the oranges in half and remove any seeds. Spray a glass pan with baking spray, line with parchment, spray again, and set aside. Preheat oven to 375.

Place the oranges into a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and pulse till you have a purée, then add everything else. Scrape batter into pan and bake 1 hour. Let cool 10 minutes in pan before lifting out. It's better the next day — but who can wait? I'm thinking a little salted caramel ice cream on top might be fabulous.

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