Nigella’s Clementine Christmas Cake

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Nigella's Clementine Christmas Cake
In September of 2007, Nigella Lawson, internationally renowned food celebrity and cookbook author, visited Nino Salvaggio’s in preparation for a television appearance promoting her new book, “Nigella Express”. Nigella’s delicious recipe for her Christmas Cake is another one of many reasons to celebrate the holiday season “with taste”! The mandarin orange originated in the Far East and has been around since 2000 B.C. Clementines are the tiniest of the mandarins. Grown domestically but also imported from Spain; Morocco and other parts of North Africa. Clementines are a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin. They are small, very sweet and usually seedless. Most people think of Clementines as small tangerines, but they’re a different variety entirely with a distinctive taste. The Clementine is an excellent eating orange with a soft peel perfect for peeling out of hand.
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  1. 4-5 Clementines, unpeeled (about 1 lb.)
  2. 6 Extra Large Eggs
  3. 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  4. 2 1/3 cups Almonds, finely ground
  5. 1 heaping tsp. Baking Powder
  1. Put the unpeeled clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to boil, and cook for 2 hours.
  2. Drain and when cool, cut each Clementine in half and remove any seeds.
  3. Then chop everything finely – skins, pits, fruit – in the food processor (or by hand, of course).
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  5. Butter and line an 8-inch spring form pan with waxed paper or parchment.
  6. Beat the eggs.
  7. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder.
  8. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines. I don’t like using the processor for this and frankly, you can’t balk at a little light stirring.
  9. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the pan. When the cake’s cold, you can take it out of the pan. I think this is better a day after it’s made, but I don’t complain about eating it anytime.
  11. When the cake’s cold, you can take it out of the pan and enjoy this delicious Holiday treat.
  1. Yield 1 - 8" Cake
Nino Salvaggio