'Clementines brighten the darker days just when we need them' writes Melanie Johnson, Country Life's Kitchen Garden Cook.
Even eating them as they are is like a dart of sunshine on a winter’s day, but they’re very easy to use in baking as well.
A simple drizzle cake is probably the easiest method: bake a cake as you’d like it, then brush it with a syrup made by simmering the juice of two clementines with 50g sugar. And once cool, drizzle with icing made by whisking 100g of icing sugar with the juice of one clementine.
For something a little more impressive, though, Melanie’s recipe below comes highly recommended.
- 100g butter
- 100g cream cheese
- 120ml whole milk
- 8 egg yolks
- 60g plain flour
- 60g cornflour
- 12 egg whites
- 140g granulated sugar
- Icing sugar for dusting
For the clementine compote
- 4 clementines, peeled and chopped
- 100g caster sugar
- 1tbspn vanilla paste
- To decorate
- 300ml double cream
- 3 clementines, plus a few leaves
Preheat your oven to 160˚C/ 325˚F/gas mark 3 and line a 25cm (10in) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment, both in the base and around the edge. Find an ovenproof dish or tin that the cake tin can sit inside, allowing room to pour in boiling water around it when baking.
In a saucepan, melt the butter, cream cheese and milk, whisking until there are no lumps. Set aside to cool. Beat the egg yolks until smooth in a large bowl. Pour in the contents of the saucepan and whisk everything together. Add the flour and cornflour, mix again and set aside.
Use electric beaters to bring the egg whites to stiff peaks, adding the sugar gradually towards the end. Add a spoonful of the yolk mixture to the egg whites and mix until a consistent colour, then carefully fold through the remaining egg yolks. Pour into the prepared tin. Place the cake tin inside a dish and pour boiling water around so it comes an inch or so up the sides. Bake for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 140˚C/275˚F/gas mark 1 and bake for a further hour.
In a small saucepan, heat the chopped clementines with the sugar and vanilla and simmer until syrupy. Remove from the heat and chill until ready to assemble.
Remove the cake from the oven and lift it out of the tin when still hot. Allow to cool for a little before inverting the cake onto your hand as you peel back the paper and then place on a plate.
When cool, spoon over the whipped cream followed by the clementine compote and the whole peeled clementines and leaves. Serve sliced.