CLEMENTINE CHOCO NUT flourless torte cake

flourless torte cake

Densely textured and flavourful flourless torte cake.

Before the winter season is completely over...
claim your CLEMENTINES.
Adding to it NUTS and not forgetting the CHOCOLATE...
'voila' to an aromatic and satisfying flavourful cake torte.

The first time I made this scrumptious cake...it was a big hit with myself and 'hubby'.  He actually felt that this fairly substantial cake may not be enough for him to enjoy through the next few dessert eating moments.  Are you kidding me! 
I soon cut up the rest of the cake in order to freeze it and maintain its freshness so that we could enjoy it on other occasions. Oh, I was going to fail to mention...how really wonderfully well this cake preserves itself in the freezer. When I desire a slice of this aromatic cake...I pre-heat the oven on low...pop it into the oven...and voila, dessert is ready once more. Comes in handy on those days without much sweets around to finish a great meal with ;0)

How did I find out about such a recipe?  Well, I do love desserts with a combo of citrus and chocolate.  Therefore, off researching I went.  As usual, when trying a new recipe...I find myself with versions galore. Every one I choose seems like they almost have the right balance of ingredients to texture and flavours.  However, yet again...I dissect and sift through the various versions...to finally come up with a result which I think can work maybe better for this recipe ;0)  

Alright then, I'll get back to the story of my first try at this recipe.  
Neglectful me, I got so carried away with all my thoughts and serenity in my private little piece of kitchen paradise...that I completely forgot to record photos of how I proceeded.  I could have kicked myself.
So, what did my Hubby say to that?  With a somewhat reticent grin on his face..."well, I guess you'll just have to try it again...and who knows...the practice will make it  perfection!?!"  At the time, the suggestion may have seemed reasonable...but not to me it didn't.  I had so MANY more recipes that I wished to try.  After all, how many desserts can we eat?  Anyways, I knew for sure that if I would really feel like making this cake again...my time could soon run out.  As most of you know, CLEMENTINES are great to lavish your recipes when they are just right in its dedicated season.  I do prefer the Moroccan Clementines.  This meant I still had a small window of about a month.

At the time...
I decided to keep enjoying my piece of cake...
and put all that conversation behind me.

Well...a little more than a month after...I'm back with CLEMENTINES on the brain.
Why...because when I was shopping this past week...guess who was calling me from a far?
Gorgeous, plump bright orange CLEMENTINES.
I could not resist...I caved.
I purchased them thinking stubbornly that I was going to look...
into making another recipe other than the same torte.

The week was flying by.
I had not yet had time to put together some brilliant alternatives...
and most importantly didn't want to have these amazing fresh clementines go to waste.
So, guess whose subliminal message got through.
Once more, somehow Hubby won out.
How does this keep happening?

Anyhow...here was my chance to make the torte even better...so I started simmering my 'Clemis'.  However, the cake did not get made that evening.  After, having got through making supper and all...I decided to have them cool down and refrigerate them to have them ready for my next days' baking.
This turned out better than I thought.  Doing this recipe in a two day process turned out to be much better for me personally.  I, at least did not have to wait around for the 'Clemis' to simmer and completely cool down while impatiently waiting to start the cake.  A 'make-ahead' process such as this one...suited me just fine.

Oh, yes...for those who are interested...
the original cake has a small history:
In Algeria, around the turn of the 20th century...
a French priest named 'Clement' managed to grow a
blend of the tart 'Seville' orange and the 'Mandarin' to create a sweet, 
yet tangy variety that was named after his namesake as the ' CLEMENTINE '.

This great little creation has been used to create this Middle Eastern torte
Therefore...enough of the suspense...
here is my slightly improved second try at this delicious dessert.

flourless torte cake

portions for: 10-12 persons
note: Since every morsel packs a big punch...its suggested to slice smaller portions.

Click HERE for a PRINT version.

(American / Metric measures)
. regular sized clementines 
(or 6 smaller ones)
. 6 xLarge eggs (separated)
. 1 tsp. (5ml) pure vanilla extract
. 2-3/4 cups (360g) ground almonds (lightly roasted preferred)
  {note: measure 2-1/2 cups whole almonds}
. 1-1/4 cups (260g) granulated sugar
. 3/4 cup (135g) chocolate,
     bittersweet [65-70%] (finely chopped)
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder
. 1/4 tsp (1.25ml) sea salt

makes a 9 inch (22-23cm) torte
(use a spring form cake pan)
Preparation and baking time: 90 min.
(excluding the pre-cooking time of the fruit)
PRE-HEAT the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5
Place therack in the center of the oven.


...Cooking of the Clementines: (a day ahead is best):
1. After having carefully washed, scrubbed and rinsed the fruits...place them into a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring the water to a boil.  After which, the heat has to be lowered to have them slowly simmer (low-medium setting) for 60 minutes.  Make sure to put the lid onto the pot for the whole cooking duration.   When the time is up, turn off the heat and keep the lid on for another 30 minutes.  Afterwards, strain the cooked fruits and let them cool completely for about 2 hours.   Set aside temporarily if making the cake the same day or refrigerate if making the cake the next day.

...Prepare the baking pan:
. Lightly grease the spring form pan and line the bottom part with a cut-out circle from parchment paper.  Set aside onto a (non-insulated) baking cookie sheet.

...Dry ingredient mixture:
2. With the aid of a food processor, PULSE together the almonds, chocolate and sugar until a fairly fine texture.  The, transfer the ingredients into a large bowl.  Add in the baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

...Wet ingredient mixture:
3. In a blender or food processor, place the cooked clementines (making sure any seeds are extracted) along with the egg yolks and the vanilla extract.  Process until smooth.   Set aside.
Meanwhile...in a separate, medium bowl...whip the egg whites until stiff peaks appear.

...Combining the BATTER and the whipped EGG WHITES:
4. Incorporate the wet mix into the dry mix and hand whisk until batter is combined.  With a spatula, gently fold and blend the whipped egg whites into the batter until well combined.  Do not over-mix.  Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan.   
... Baking:
. For about 50 minutes if baking in a dark pan or 45 min. in a lighter pan.  Close the oven heat and leave cake for another 10 minutes undisturbed.  Remove the cake pan from the oven.  Place it on wire rack to completely cool (at least 3 hours).  Before unclasping the cake pan, run a knife around the perimeter.   Place a plate on the surface and flip it over.  Now, unclasp the cake pan.  Remove the bottom part with its paper liner.   Place your chosen serving dish and flip it over once more to reveal the final result.

... Decoration (optional):
. Sift and spread some icing sugar over the trellis stencil or any other decorative stencil.  If you're wondering where I got this 'trellis' template...it came from no other than a case of clementines I had purchased over the holidays.  Somehow, I had found it interesting...and the irony of it all...it found itself on its own Clementine cake.

... Storing:
. If you can imagine, this cake gets even better as every day passes.  The intense flavours have enough time to blend with each other in order to give you a smooth morsel of this delicious torte every time.  It keeps well at room temperature for 2-3 days.  Refrigerate for up to 1 week, take out and serve at room temperature.  Or, better yet, warm up the cake on very low heat in the oven as your home will get that wonderful aroma once again.   This torte also freezes very well for up to 1 month.   Package it in a parchment paper and then slip into an airtight freezer plastic bag.  Serve and enjoy.

Well, there you have it.

I truly hope that you'll have a chance to make
this wonderfully simple and delicious torte soon. 

Have yourselves a great day...and flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SWEET creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)
. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.

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