Walnut and candied-clementine orange cake

Walnut and candied-clementine orange cake

By
From
Saraban
Makes
12
Photographer
Mark Roper

Moist enough to be served as dessert with softly whipped cream, or as a treat with tea or coff ee, this cake was created by Odette Martini, a wonderful pastry chef and friend. It is an adaptation of the popular Middle Eastern boiled orange and almond cake, made famous by Claudia Roden, but instead combines walnuts with citrus fruit – both of which grow abundantly in the north of Iran. The addition of candied clementines (available from good providores and Middle Eastern food stores) gives a mild, but pleasing, bitter edge to the cake.

This is a flat, moist cake, not a high-risen, airy one, so it is surprisingly quick to bake.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g oranges, washed
4 candied clementines
75g shelled walnuts, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
75g caster sugar

Method

  1. Remove any little stems still attached to the oranges. Put them into a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1–1½ hours, or until the oranges are very soft when you pierce them with a skewer. Leave the oranges to cool in the liquid, then cut them into quarters and remove any pips. Blitz the oranges and 2 of the candied clementines to a purée in a food processor. Scrape into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 150ºC and grease a 24 cm x 20 cm cake tin and line it with baking paper. In a bowl, combine the ground walnuts, cardamom, fennel and baking powder.
  3. Whisk the eggs and caster sugar in an electric mixer for 10 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Stir the egg mixture into the orange purée, then gently fold in the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared tin – it should be a very shallow layer – and bake for 25–30 minutes. The cake should be golden brown and feel lightly springy to the touch.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. Turn out carefully when cold, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into squares, decorate with slices of the remaining candied clementines and serve with thick or softly whipped cream.
Tags:
Saraban
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Iran
Iranian
Middle Eastern
Persian
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