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Author Notes: Inspired from everyone who has ever incorporated clementines or oranges into their baked goods... from Nigella to the sweet little old lady who brought an Orange Sunshine Cake to a church dinner.
My recipe also includes a "soak" of Grand Marnier or your favorite orange liqueur... along the lines of a rum Cake soak or Kentuck Buttercake. Hope you enjoy! -Scotty —Scotty Irani
For The Cake:
- 3 whole then halved Clementine oranges
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temp
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Soaking Syrup (Liqueur Optional) ...but I highly recommend.
- 1/3 cup Clementine syrup
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
- For The Soaking Syrup: Heat the syrup and butter together until the butter has melted. Stir in the liqueur before using.
- For The Cake: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and prepare your favorite bundt pan or poundcake pan with butter/flour or with “Baker’s Joy” baking spray. Do not use cooking spray. In a sauce pan bring the halved clementines to boil in three cups of water. Turn down to a light simmer and cook approximately 15-20 minutes until tender. Let the clementines set and cool in the pan while you start on the cake.
- Add the flour, baking soda -baking powder, and kosher salt into a bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, start creaming the butter. Add the sugar and mix until fluffy and smooth. Scrape down the bowl, sides and bottom. Begin mixing in your eggs one at a time until each is thoroughly mixed in and the base is smooth.
- Remove the clementines from the water and place in a food processor bowl with the blade attachment. There should be around 1 cup of the clementine cooking water left. Set the pan and water back on the stove and begin heating to a boil with 1 cup of sugar. Turn down the heat and Simmer around 10 minutes to a nice simple syrup and set aside.
- Run the processor and puree the clementines…peel and pulp and all. You should end up with a little more than one cup. Add the puree to the batter mixture and mix until combined.
- Alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk begin adding and mixing the two into the butter mixture until a fluffy firm batter is achieved.
- Spoon in and level out evenly the batter. Making sure to get into all the crooks and crevasse of your bundt pan. Lay a folded soft kitchen towel down on the counter and place the bundt pan on top. Gently tap down on the towel to release any air bubbles, and to not dent your bundt pan. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven it goes. Bake approximately 1 hour or until your cake tester comes out clean.
- While your cake is baking begin making your soaking syrup. After the cake has baked and kept the cake in the bundt pan, remove from the oven and immediately and thoughtfully begin pouring the soaking syrup on top of the cake. Allow the syrup to soak in before adding more. Add to the center, the sides, around the middle diameter. Let the cake cool completely and soak. I actually like making this cake the day before I need it and keep it cool in the fridge. When you are ready to serve turn the cake out onto your favorite cake plate or cake stand. Decorate with a dusting of powdered sugar and sliced clementines if you like.