The sparkling clementines bathing in the Cointreau syrup look so pretty they can be served piled high in a glass bowl, without even considering making the cake. This is how I served them last year, and they are a very welcome dessert after all the rich food we had devoured!
The clementines are submerged in the Cointreau syrup for 24 hours before using and are simply turned now and again. The sparkling clementines in their syrup can be made in advance and popped into the freezer.
The cake was made with ready-to-eat apricots that had been simmered gently in clementine juice. A tender crumbed, moist cake that either keeps well or can be frozen. This cake is an all-in-one mixture and so no labour intensive cake making here!
This recipe is by Mary Cadogan who is now a food consultant for BBCGoodFood Magazine.
GOOD FOOD CHRISTMAS MADE EASY
ISBN 056352149X - Page 122
You will need: A buttered and base lined 20cm round cake tin.
For the cake: 100g ready-to-eat finely chopped dried apricots, 175ml clementine juice (6-8 clementines), 100g softened butter, 100g golden caster sugar, 2 eggs, 50g self-raising flour, 175g ground almonds, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbs slivered almonds, icing sugar for dusting.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4/Fan 160°C. Place the apricots in a pan with the clementine juice. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
2. Beat the butter, sugar, eggs and flour in a bowl for 2 minutes until light and fluffy, then fold in the ground almonds, vanilla and apricots along with their juices.
3. Put the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Scatter over the slivered almonds. Bake in the oven for approximately 40-50 minutes until firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container).
For the Sparkling Clementines:
8 clementines, 175g golden caster sugar, 5 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
1. Squeeze the juice from 2 clementines and put to one side. Peel the remaining clementines and remove all the pith, place them in a heatproof bowl.
2. Put the sugar in a saucepan with 6 tablespoons cold water. Gently heat, stirring gently until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat, stop stirring and rapidly boil until the syrup turns light caramel, about 2-4 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the clementine juice and Cointreau. Return to the heat and stir until the caramel is smooth, then pour it over the whole clementines. Turn them in the syrup, then cover with a saucer to submerge them and leave in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
To Serve: Dust the cake with icing sugar. Slice the cake and put a wedge on each plate with a clementine. Spoon the syrup over the cake and fruit. Serve with Greek yogurt.