CLEMENTINE AND ALMOND SYRUP CAKE

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini have become the talk of the town when it comes to middle eastern cuisine… I was lucky enough to meet with Sami one afternoon when having lunch at their splendid London restaurant Nopi. After a brief conversation about how deliciously amazing everything was, I told him that I thought their latest book, Jerusalem: A Cookbook, was going to be the number one cookbook in the United States. Little did either of us realize at the time, it was going to inspire almost rabid fandom!

This cake, adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, is great year-round! Clementines are in season October through February, but it can be made with oranges instead… equally delicious! I substituted oranges for clementines as they are not in season yet, and used Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour in place of all-purpose so that I could share with my neighbor who happens to be gluten free. The chocolate icing is optional. If you wish to ice the cake it is recommended to do so on the day you serve it.

Serves 8-10


Ingredients

·  ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·  2 cups superfine sugar
·  grated zest and juice of 4 clementines (oranges can be substituted)
·  grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
·  2½ cups ground almonds
·  5 medium free-range eggs, beaten
·  ¾ cup sifted flour
·  pinch of salt
·  long strips of orange zest to garnish
·  Chocolate Icing (optional, recipe follows)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9½ inch springform cake pan with butter and line the sides and bottom with parchment paper.

Place butter, 1½ cups of the sugar, and both zests in a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment and beat on low to combine everything well. Do not overmix. Add half the ground almonds and mix till combined.
With mixer running, add eggs gradually, stopping to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go. Add remaining ground almonds, flour, and salt, and beat till smooth. Pour into pan and level with an offset spatula. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Check the cakes doneness by inserting a knife into the center. It should come out somewhat moist.

When the cake is almost done, place ⅓ cup sugar and citrus juices in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to about ½ cup. Remove from heat.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, brush the boiling syrup over the top, until all of it has soaked through. Leave the cake to cool down completely in the tin, then remove from the tin and serve it as it is, garnished with orange strips, iced (recipe follows) or store it for up to three days in an airtight container.

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CHOCOLATE ICING

Makes enough for 1 Cake Recipe


Ingredients

· 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
· 5 oz good quality dark chocolate, broken up
· 2½ teaspoons honey
· 1½ teaspoons Cognac

Directions

Put the butter, chocolate, and honey in a heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until everything is melted, then remove from heat and fold in cognac.

Pour icing over cooled cake allowing it to dribble over the sides without covering it completely.

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