Thursday, 16 May 2013


My sister calls it my "flop": I made gluten-free brownies once, where one had to mush up a can of butter beans and use those instead of actual butter. The "brownies" were edible, but it was one of those weak attempts at making a healthy version of something that is not healthy. Rather eat one normal brownie than suffer through a few of the gluten-free ones. I don't see them as a flop though, rather as an experiment that won't be repeated. You can't stick to your fail-safe recipes when there are sites like foodgawker that present endless options to taste new things. Sometimes they turn out better, and sometimes worse.

Last Friday both my mom and sister returned home, so I relished the chance to actually make something for more than one person. The problem was the fridge didn't really contain much and in my standard outfit of a manly robe (think your grandfather, not Hugh Hefner) over tracksuit pants and an old Tshirt, well, it is not really what one should leave the house in. Not even if there is a fire.

So I found a cake to fit what I actually did have, and boom!, Mother's Day cake was sorted. And, hah, it was gluten-free as well. Te he he.

Nigella's clementine cake turned out really well, surprisingly.

Here are the ingredients and instructions (copy/pasted from her site, you can also simply follow the link above):


  • 375 grams clementines
  • large eggs
  • 225 grams white sugar
  • 250 grams ground almonds
  • teaspoon baking powder


  1. Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines - skins, pith, fruit and all - and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course). Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/190ÂșC. Butter and line a 21cm Springform tin.
  2. You can then add all the other ingredients to the food processor and mix. Or, you can beat the eggs by hand adding the sugar, almonds and baking powder, mixing well, then finally adding the pulped oranges.
  3. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it at any time.
  4. I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges, and with lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 250g and slightly anglicise it, too, by adding a glaze made of icing sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

I didn't have clementines, so instead used 4 small naartjies (tangerines, thank you Wikipedia). I could've also blended the cooked naartjies for a bit longer, because there were a few pieces of skin that were too big for my liking. Also, I think adding a shot or two of Cointreau would be quite tasty. My mom  (like Nigella) commented that it was better two days after it was made because by then it was really juicy. Lastly we had pomegranates so instead of icing the cake I just poured some pomegranate rubies over the cake, which also worked rather well.


  1. this looks absolutely delicious! saw your link on nigella's website and had to check out a real-life version, not a potentially perfected one of theirs! found any other healthy gluten free recipes you could recommend?

    1. Hi there, sadly I have not. The butter-bean-brownies were the only ones I have tried, and they were mediocre at best. This cake is really good though, and rather simple. Good luck with the recipe search :)

  2. Also saw your link on Nigella's site. I just wanted to double-check: are you honestly supposed to boil and then blend whole clemantines? Do they blend up fairly easily once cooked? Or have I just totally got the wrong end of the stick in my understanding of this recipe? Thanks.

    1. Hello :) Jip, boil and blend all the clementines (I had four Clemengold clementines) and then afterwards I just cut them up in smaller pieces before blending them to a pulp.