Fruit-filled clementine cake

Fruit-filled clementine cake

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(7 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 10 mins Plus chilling

Easy

Serves 8 - 10
A beautiful, moist gluten-free cake packed with zingy citrus flavours, wonderful for Christmas

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal695
  • fat34g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs93g
  • sugars83g
  • fibre3g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.36g
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Ingredients

  • 4 small clementine

    Clementine

    kleh-men-tyne

    The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 140g raisin
  • 140g sultana
  • 140g currant
  • 100g glacé cherry, quartered
  • 2 tbsp brandy

    Brandy

    bran-dee

    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 3 egg, beaten

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 140g polenta

    Polenta

    poh-len-tah

    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 1 tsp baking powder (we used Fiddes Payne, which is gluten-free)

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • icing sugar, to decorate (most are gluten-free, but check the packaging)
  • 100g ground almond

For the topping

  • 4 clementine

    Clementine

    kleh-men-tyne

    The smallest and sweetest variety of tangerine is sweet and tangy, contains no seeds and is…

  • 140g caster sugar

Method

  1. To make the cake, place the clementines in a small pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hr or until tender. Drain and cool.

  2. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter a 20cm springform cake tin and line the base with a disc of buttered baking parchment. Cut the cooked clementines in half and remove any pips. Place in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not puréed.

  3. Combine the raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries and brandy in a bowl. Add the clementine pulp and mix well. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition. In another bowl, combine the spices, ground almonds, polenta and baking powder. Fold into the creamed mixture along with the dried fruit and clementine pulp.

  4. Spoon into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and continue to cook for a further 40 mins. You may need to loosely cover the top of the cake with a sheet of baking parchment for the final 20 mins to prevent it browning too quickly. Cool in the tin for 30 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack.

  5. To make the topping, slice the clementines to a 5mm thickness. Tip the sugar into a saucepan with 140ml water and cook over a low heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved. Put the clementine slices in the pan and stir through. To keep the clementines submerged in the syrup, cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to fit into the pan and place over the fruit. Cook over a low heat for 1 hr until glossy and translucent. Remove and spread out over greaseproof paper to cool.

  6. To serve, dust the whole cake with icing sugar, then arrange the clementine slices, overlapping, over the top of the cake.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (27)

kt_nizette's picture

Don't hang about until Christmas! This is absolutely 'divine'. I made up two small cup cake size ones at the same time, as the larger one was for a birthday cake. Took 20 mins less to cook the smaller ones, and I put the cover over when I turned down the oven. But let me tell you, they went down a treat with our afternoon cup of tea. This will also be a big hit with our friend on his birthday. Don't need candles, the decoration on the top is enough and I soaked a whole clementine in the left over sugar water to place in the center. It looks fantastic.

c-p-n-oel's picture

I just found this recipe I would love to try this for my celiac cousin as a treat just a little question my cousin also is allergic to nuts what can I replace the ground almonds with ??

kt_nizette's picture

I had read that you couldn't really substitute as it's the 'oil' from the almonds that is a key element when baking. I also go by my 'Nigella Lawson' website as she's usually on the ball and here is what her team have to say -

"Quite often ground almonds are used in cakes to add moisture and sometimes to give a gluten free cake suitable for coeliacs, instead of one made with wheat flour. If you are substituting the ground almonds with another ingredient then you really need to consider how much of the cake is made up by nuts. If it is a large amount then it is unlikely that a successful substitute will be found.
Some people suggest breadcrumbs, ground rice or semolina as possible substitutes, but again the result will very much vary according to the individual recipe so each recipe would have to be individually adjusted and tested accordingly. However Nigella's website has plenty of cake recipes which are nut free.

vegetarina's picture
4

This was very good. It took a long to make, and my candied citrus slices on the top weren't quite a pretty as the photo, and the middle wasn't cooked quite through (I don't think the cooking time is adequate, as others pointed out), but my guy was surprised and delighted with his unexpected Christmas present! He's eating slices of it for breakfast...

This is definitely worth the effort.

clarachough's picture
5

Sorry, I forgot to rate this a minute ago!

clarachough's picture
5

My friend made this for my In- Laws 60th wedding Anniversary cake and it was so moist and delicious;not bitter at all. I'm currently stewing the whole Clementines ready to mix the cake and looking forward to it! Will let you know if I hit any snags...

barnett5's picture

Haven't made this yet, so not rated. Looking for cake to make this year. However, wanted to say, gluten free cakes don't keep very well so I would suggest making either a couple of days before you want it or, freeze (well wrapped), undecorated.

claudinesma's picture

Does any one know how far in advance you can make this cake

rpattenden's picture

How long does this cake keep for?

paul7rhg's picture
2

I used only 3 clementines. I peeled them and cooked the flesh in microwave for 5 minutes or until soft and 'mashable'. Leaving the skins on the clementines makes the cake too bitter The cooking time for this cake is far too short. I gave mine 30 minutes at !60C (fan) and a further 65 minutes at 140c (fan); it was well received.

debscakes's picture

How long will this cake keep for?

moominmama's picture
5

We've tried lots of G/F cake recipes since my other half was diagnosed coeliac earlier this yr. The many variants on choc mousse cake are lovely but very rich for day to day. This fruit cake recipe is the best general G/F cake we've found...its fantastic!

elizabethd's picture
5

Marly, I don't peel the clementines. I don't know if this is correct but it works for me!

marly19's picture

This sounds delicious, but should I peel the clementines first, or really leave them whole at stage 1?

weddingcake's picture

Made this cake it looks lovely,may even marzipan and decorate it with royal icicng for alternative to xmas cake.

elizabethd's picture
5

I had the same problem as PC the first time I cooked this. The second time I made it I extended the cooking time which gave a better, but not perfect, result.
Despite this it is absolutely delicious and my family love it. Definitely one of the best gluten-free cake recipes I have tried, so I still give it 5 stars.

pcronin's picture

I've just tried this recipe for the third time and I keep ending up with an undercooked centre, I followed the instructions and even tried the higher temperatures in my fan oven - where am I going wrong?

beccabunbury's picture
5

Fantastic wheat free alternative to a traditional Christmas cake.

ramjes's picture

Hi Kathryn, the dry polenta you can find in Sainbury's - they have a fantastic one it is a 500g , very pretty black bag. ASDA's used to have it as well ,coarse and fine but I do not know lately as I haven't been to ASDA's for at least couple of years, or any Turkish, Polish or Romanian grocery shop. Good luck in finding it- well if you did not find it as yet.

maziminor's picture

I tried this recipe and i added to the list of dried fruit a little Crystallized ginger it tasted great a very nice recipe indeed A*******

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Questions (3)

Flossy41's picture

I am new to gluten free baking as son just been diagnosed with coeliac disease. All the family loved this cake and in fact thought it tasted better a few days after baking. I used Bertoli instead of butter as I do in all my baking. This cake however was very crumbly. Would adding a teaspoon of xanthan gum help with this? I am not sure if the polenta I used was gluten free as it came from factory that handled wheat products.Has anyone used gluten free self raising flour instead of polenta?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes, adding a teaspoon of xanthan gum will help to improve the texture of the cake.

Flossy41's picture

I am new to gluten free baking as son just been diagnosed with coeliac disease. All the family loved this cake and in fact thought it tasted better a few days after baking. I used Bertoli instead of butter as I do in all my baking. This cake however was very crumbly. Would adding a teaspoon of xanthan gum help with this? I am not sure if the polenta I used was gluten free as it came from factory that handled wheat products.Has anyone used gluten free self raising flour instead of polenta?

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