It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
I haven't succumbed to the Christmas tree yet, or a tin of Quality Street - but a Christmas List has appeared on the fridge, the occasional festive tune is sneaking into the playlist and there's a steady stream of clementines in the fruit bowl.
But after the initial flurry of excitement at these easy-peel beauties, there's always a handful of sad ones that get neglected for too long and end up rejected at the bottom of the bowl. These are the ones that have become a bit wrinkly and quite frankly have reached the stage where they don't pretty much peel themselves. And that's a problem when there are two teenage sons in the house. To clarify ... for these guys, convenience ranks right up there with taste. Possibly higher.
But let's face it - if they ever did put in the effort to peel a wrinkly clementine, they'd probably find that it's past its best ... the taste is there but the juiciness has long gone. Shame.
So in an attempt to avoid throwing out the sad specimens, I decided to see what else I could do with them to bring them back to life - a touch of fruit bowl rejuvenation if you like. And here it is, this Sticky Clementine Cake - just tweaked a smidgen from this recipe in Delicious magazine. The secret? Boil the dried out old fruits in water for a couple of hours and then puree them (skin and all) to form a zesty, moist addition to a gorgeous cake. There's lots of ground almonds in there too and a clementine juice drizzle to pour over at the end. It's also a cake that keeps well and freezes perfectly. Sounding good?
It's dessert worthy with a blob of crème fraîche but it's also perfect on its own. And it's a bit Christmassy too - without being all tinsel and baubles. Subtle, I'd say and a change from all those rich and heavy traditional festive bakes. As a bonus, it's also gluten-free and, if you skip the crème fraîche, dairy free too. Could be useful.
If I can tear myself away from The Crown, I'll be enjoying a slice or two while watching one of my favourite films, 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' - which incidentally stars a Clementine Cake made by Shirley MacLaine.
The perfect feel good cake to accompany a classic feel good movie. And to think, it started out as an austerity cake. Just shows ...Print