Archive for February, 2009

Vanilla Clementine Cakes

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

I had five clementines that were looking peaked and past the time when eating them out of hand would be a pleasure. Before deciding what i would make, i started by halving the sections and slicing the peel up in small strips (though not quite julienned). I left that all macerating under sugar to reflect on a recipe.

I decided on Marcel Desaulniers’ recipe for oven-roasted plum cakes in Julia Child’s Baking with Julia. The recipe is much like the “dimply plum cake” featured in this photo rich post and documented here. (This reminds me of last weekend’s discussion of copyright and recipes. My mother said that in her cooking school they taught that a recipe is new when measures are slightly changed. It seems that with so much of the basics in the public domain, anyhow, recipe copyrights must be a horror to try and track.)

After 30-60 minutes, I zapped the sugar and clementine mixture for three minutes on high, dissolving the sugar into a syrup, plumping up the sections, and tenderizing the peel. I added a little over an inch of vanilla bean and a dusting of ginger powder, creating a syrupy heavenly scented bowl of proto-marmalade.

Vanilla Clementine CakesVanilla Clementine Cakes

The oven roasted plum cake recipe is given for baking in twelve single serving custard cups. We can get half a muffin pan into our small oven, with room for a small loaf pan and another custard cup on the side. I wasn’t sure how critical the volume was. After this experience and looking at some of the other recipes, i think it would do just fine in a regular cake pan or a spring form pan (where ever it’s got off to). The loaf pan was my volume test.

Vanilla Clementine CakesVanilla Clementine Cakes

Warm from the oven, the spongy cake had absorbed so much of the vanilla clementine syrup. Christine and i were both reminded of pineapple upside down cake — i suspect that would be another recipe that would hold up under the dense syrupy proto-marmalade.