The perfect bake for the winter months, when there is not much fruit available but clementines are at their best. The flavour is delicate, and I like to give it extra oomph with a touch of natural orange essence. To avoid doming of the cake, which might make it look awkward when placed upside-down on a serving plate, wrap the tin in a wet cake belt, if you have one.
Prep: 20 – 25 mins
Cook: 46 – 48 mins
Butter, for greasing (use vegetable spread for a dairy-free version)
4 unwaxed organic clementines, plus 2–3 extra fruits for their juice
150g egg (about 3 medium eggs), at room temperature
200g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for dusting
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
120g vegetable oil, preferably corn or sunflower
½ tsp natural orange essence (optional)
150g soft wheat 00 flour or plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
- Set the shelf in the lower half of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Grease a 23cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on the base of the lined tin.
- Peel the 4 clementines and very finely chop the peel of 2 of them. Set aside the peel. Slice the peeled clementines in half horizontally, remove any seeds, and arrange each half, cut-side down, on the sugared baking paper in the base of the tin.
- Squeeze the extra clementines to make 100g of juice and set aside.
- Add the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla to a large bowl and whisk at high speed with a handheld electric whisk (or stand mixer) until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is pale and fluffy (about 3–4 minutes).
- With the whisk still going, trickle the oil into the bowl, add the orange essence (if using) and whisk for about 1 minute to emulsify fully. Then trickle in the juice and whisk for a further minute.
- Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder into the bowl and whisk again at low speed until the batter looks smooth, without any lumps of flour. Fold in the reserved chopped clementine peel with a spatula.
- Slowly, pour the batter in the tin, ensuring the clementines are not displaced in the process. Wrap the tin in a wet cake belt (if using) and bake for 46–48 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin at least 15 minutes.
- Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Carefully peel off the baking paper to reveal the fruit. Serve at room temperature. Keeps for up to 3–4 days under a cake dome.
Adapted from Giuseppe’s Easy Bakes (Quadrille)