Some days you find yourself staring at that huge fruit bowl in your dining room or on your kitchen counter, thinking that, your clementines seem to share the same fate as those bananas that are still good but somewhat overripe, the ones that everyone just seems to ignore. Well, if you find yourself in that situation, or if you just happen to want to bake a little afternoon snack cake, grab some of those lonely clementines and, together with just a few other tasty ingredients, turn them into a healthyish treat.
Healthyish, you ask, well, yes. In my baking, I like to use part oat flour, part spelt flour, especially when I bake with fruits. And I like to use dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. Also, there is freshly squeezed clementine juice in the cake batter and no frosting, just a light dusting of confectioners' sugar and maybe a few chopped natural pistachios. If you add a few freshly peeled clementine segments for fun/and taste, you'll all be in for a lovely afternoon/breakfast treat.
As an additional bonus, no frosting also means that the kids can put a square in their lunch boxes - no sticky mess - packed together with a fresh seasonal clementine, a piece of this cake makes for a great treat.
Clementine Snack Cake with Chocolate Chuncks
- 4 to 6 clementines (depending on their size) – you need 125ml juice for the cake batter
- 120g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus some for greasing the baking pan
- 150g superfine (caster) sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla sugar
- 2 eggs (M), free range or organic
- 100g oat flour (either use oat flour usually available at health food stores OR make your own by first weighing out the amount of oats required in the recipe and then grinding your oats in a food processor until the texture resembles that of wheat flour. Note that old fashioned, steel cut, or quick-cooking oats all work
- 120g white spelt flour (or use AP flour)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- a pinch fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon – I like to use Ceylon cinnamon
- 100g dark chocolate (chopped) – I like to use Belgian chocolate (70%) but feel free to use your favorite chocolate here
- Optional: confectioners' sugar and a few chopped, natural, unsalted pistachios OR almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (356° F).
- Butter a 20cmx20cm (8inx8in) square baking pan, then line with baking paper and set aside.
- Juice enough clementines to get 125ml of juice. Strain. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
- In another bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture and clementine juice in alternating batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined.
- Fold the chocolate chunks into the batter.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until edges are golden brown and starting to pull away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer to wire rack and cool for about 20 minutes.
- Remove cake from pan and return cake to wire rack to cool completely.
- Dust with confectioners` sugar, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and decorate with freshly peeled clementine segments.
NOTE: If you prefer, make a citrus icing instead of simply dusting the cake with confectioners` sugar. Mix confectioners` sugar with enough clementine juice to make a runny icing, then drizzle it over the top of the cake. Let the excess icing drip off the cake and wait a good 30 minutes for the icing to set before serving the cake.
TIP: If you are lucky enough to have untreated clementines, go ahead and add some zest to the batter.
Clementines have firm yet juicy sweet segments and they are thought to be a hybrid of a tangerine and a sweet orange, meaning they are perfect for adding a sweet, wonderful flavor as well as a lovely orange tinge to baked goods. And they are still in season until the end of this month - plenty of time then to try this recipe.
This cake is easy and moist and has lots lovely dark chocolate chunks. And lovely citrus notes. And it keeps well. Our kind of snack cake.