Almond Joy

Over the past several months I’ve become the unofficial baker at Sunday dinners.  Most Sunday dinners are held at my parents home and I have found myself pretty regularly baking something for dessert.  For those who know me this a wee bit uncharacteristic, I’ve never liked baking I aways said I was one of those people who couldn’t bake, some lame brain excuse about it being a science and all.  But last year I did decide that it would be nice if I could be one of “those moms” who always have a little homemade treat lying around the house for the kids and now treats for the kids have led to Sunday desserts or really any day dessert.  This cake is truly special enough for a Sunday but simple enough to make on any given day. It’s a citrus and olive oil cake, using the sweetest clementines that I could get my hand on, my favorite olive oil and one more special addition, ground almonds.  I am a nut lover, I can sit on the sofa and eat them by the handful. I love them candied and spiced and in some sort of party mix but I’m not always fond of baking with nuts especially almonds.  But in this recipe the almonds were pure joy, enhancing the texture of the cake, adding additional sweetness and dare I say nuttiness to the flavor.

Clementine Cake

Almond, Clementine and Olive Oil Cake

Serves 8

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup whole, raw almonds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup clementine juice, from about 4 clementines
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, room temperature
zest of 3 clementines (Here’s a great use for those clementine peels after juicing them)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with olive oil and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. In a food processor add flour, almonds and baking powder. Process until fine and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the olive oil, honey, clementine juice, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk together until blended. Stir in the zest and pour mixture into the bowl with flour gently stirring until everything is combined.

Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely, serve slices of the cake dusted with a little powdered sugar.

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