I have become obsessed with the weather this weekend. We’re due snow at some point tonight and I’ve been finding myself watching every forecast I can catch with an intensity normally reserved for a particularly dramatic episode of Hollyoaks*. If I admitted how many times I’ve checked the weather map online you might think I have a slight problem.
I’ve never been a fan of snow, being the clumsy sort that only has to see anything remotely slippery to fall over. This is in stark contrast to Izzy who is so beside herself with the thought of snow, snowmen and snowball fights that she’s in danger of combusting. Quite what would happen if she knew there was a sledge in the boot of the car I’m not sure…
Walking though our local market on Saturday I was surrounded by people talking about their plans to stock up on bread and milk “just in case”. I have the required extra milk, more from a sense of duty rather than actually thinking I won’t be able to get to the village shop, but was more worried at the realisation that there was no cake in the house. The thought of dealing with snow with no cake is not a comfortable thought.
I caught a display of clementines out of the corner of my eye, still with their leaves attached and grabbed a bag thinking that a Clementine cake would be just the thing. Moist buttery sponge, drenched with a Clementine syrup and sprinkled with sugar.
I thought I had a recipe for Clementine cake but it turned out I didn’t. Not wanting to turn on the laptop for fear of finding myself anxiously scanning the weather forecast again, I adapted a recipe for lemon drizzle from a book I often find myself turning to – Chocolate and Baking, general editor Gina Steer. It’s one of those books that is rammed with recipes from a broad general category, nothing new or earth shattering but always with a few gems that turn out perfectly each time. And it gave me a good base to work from.
The flavour from the clementines is relatively subtle, you know it’s there but it doesn’t jump and down demanding attention. The moistness of the sponge is highlighted by the crunch of the sugar topping, giving a pleasant contrast. The sugar topping isn’t strictly necessary, this cake is on the sweet side already with the syrup so if you aren’t the slightly greedy, sweet toothed person that we all seem to be then you may want to cut it into 24 squares instead.
So come on snow, I’m ready for you with my milk and cake. There’s only one slight problem, there’s only one slice left…
*Yes, I am a 32 year old that still watches programmes aimed at teenagers. I’ve watched it from the start, some *cough* 16 years ago.
A moist buttery cake drenched with a Clementine syrup and with a crunchy sugary topping.
- 170g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 225g self raising flour
- 5 clementines, 3 for the cake and 2 for the syrup
- 50g granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 170 fan and line a 8 inch by 8 inch square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
- Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of flour each time to stop it from splitting, mixing well with each addition.
- Mix in the rest of the flour and add the juice and zest of 3 of the clementines, stirring well.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Once out of the oven make the syrup by adding the juice of the remaining 2 clementines and the granulated sugar to a small saucepan. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved (if you rub a small amount between your fingers you shouldn’t be able to feel any grains) and then boil for 3-4 minutes until the liquid thickens and becomes syrupy.
- Poke holes all over the surface of your cake, I use a kebab skewer for this and then pour the syrup all over. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and leave to cool in the tin.
- Once cool cut in to fingers or squares.
*Post edited because I wasn’t paying attention and should have linked up to various other places and didn’t first time round.