The lovely people at The Book Boutique held a Facebook Bake-a-Long last week, and I was lucky enough to win a fabulous cookbook called ‘Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking.’ If you live in London, you may have stumbled across one of Gerhard Jenne’s string of successful bakeries, with the first shop opening on London’s South Bank. The book itself is filled with sweet German delights, most of which I’ve never heard of but am dying to try my hand at. Aside from the beautiful photography and enticing recipes, the book offers a very interesting insight into the baker’s career, and how he affectionately named his bakeries after the German work for pastry chef – Konditor.
This recipe jumped out at me because the author himself proclaims that when asked for his favourite cake, he responds with this Almond St. Clement Cake. It is lighter than light, made from the pulp of oranges and the rind of lemons, giving it a superbly intense citrus flavour. My family, believe it or not, have now christened it their favourite cake, too!
Ingredients (makes one 24cm cake)
- 3 large unwaxed oranges
- 1 unwaxed lemon
- 5 medium eggs
- 250g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 325g caster sugar
- 60g flaked almonds
Remove the zest from all the oranges and the lemon and set aside.Juice the lemon plus one of the oranges and set that aside too. Place the remaining two whole oranges in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for one hour, then remove the oranges from the water and leave them to cool.Make sure to leave them for a good 5 minutes, or you will burn your fingertips to kingdom come (I’m quite sure my fingerprints are now non-existent due to my impatience). At this point you can preheat the oven to 165°C and line the base of a 24cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper. Peel the oranges and reduce the flesh to a pulp, using a food processor.Add the eggs and the reserved zest, and blitz until completely smooth.In a very large bowl, mix the ground almonds, baking powder and 250g of the sugar.Add the orange and egg mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. I say use a very large bowl because mine was most definitely not large enough – there was some serious sloppage going on.Pour the mixture into the lined tin and sprinkle the edge with the flaked almonds.Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, on a wire rack. I’m totally unsure why, but my carefully placed flaked almonds gravitated towards the centre of the cake as it was baking. It must have been some sort of seismic pull.To make the glaze, place the remaining sugar and the reserved orange and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes to make a syrup. Remove the cake from the tin and brush the hot syrup all over it, then you can leave it to cool until serving.The book instructs to ‘Enjoy its juicy fruitiness plain, or add some Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit or a quick summer berry compote.’Seeing as though crème fraîche was the sole potential cake accompaniment presiding in my fridge at that time, we went for a dollop of that and it was positively heavenly! So I would absolutely recommend.
‘Konditor & Cook’ is jam packed full of gloriously decadent looking bakes, and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into them. Just not before baking this gem a few more times – it is simply one of the most beautiful cakes I have ever tasted!