CITRUS flourless CAKE splendour

Mr. LEMON joined the line dance with his circle of friends:
Ms. CLEMENTINE, Chocolate, Coconut, Ginger and Almonds.

Recently, a reliable favourite got another invite to dance on our palate.

This time however, the dance instructor decided it was time to step it up.
Time to add some twists and mix it up a little more.

Is the third time a charm?
Could this gluten-free cake get even better than it already was?
Well, not better...just slightly different with exceptional results!

No conceit here...
it's really this scrumptious torte that speaks for itself ;o)

Let's take a moment to back up to the basic two-step.
The first time...
I made this aromatic cake, it turned out to be an incredibly delicious success.
The second time...
it received an extra injection of character so that my expectations could be met!
Therefore, when I passed the market's aisle of fresh clementines...
it was a loud message to make that remarkably delightful torte once more!

How could I not make this successful sweet treat again?
With such beauties by my side...
I was getting another chance to perfect the dance routine.

Why toy with quasi-perfection?
Well, that's how exasperating I can be on occasion ;o)
Yes, at times it does end up biting me in the you know what?!?
But, not this time my friends.

By not toying with my recipe too much...
I managed to spice it up just enough to carry it to the next level of excellence.

After having tasted the first morsel...
I had accomplished what I had set out when shaking things up came to mind.

The minor additional changes were:
. a tart lemon with rind to the clementines
. some candied ginger which was going to be blitzed in with the citrus
. a little more sweetness to balance the added tang from the lemon and ginger
. a good dose of organic unsweetened shredded coconut
. as well as an increased dose of pure vanilla essence.
As the fragrance was wafting through our home...
my little happy dance had begun.
This was a sure indication that this decadent torte was going to be...
delicately devoured one appreciative bite at the time.

Citrus Chocolate Coconut Ginger Nut
flourless torte cake
serves 10-12 persons
note: Since every morsel packs a big punch...its best to slice smaller portions.

Click HERE for a PRINT version.

(American / Metric measures)
...CITRUS with skin left on:
. 4 regular sized Clementines* (or 6 small)
. 1 small lemon
...DRY mix:
. 2-3/4 cups (360g) ground almonds 
  {note: measure 2-1/2 cups whole almonds} 
. 1/4 cup (55g) candied ginger
. 3/4 cup (135g) bittersweet (65-70%) chocolate
. 1-1/2 cups (310g) granulated sugar
. 1/2 cup (35g) unsweetened, shredded coconut
. 1 tsp. (5ml) baking powder
. 1/4 tsp. (1ml) sea salt
...WET mix:
. 6 large eggs, separated
. 1 tbsp. (15ml) pure vanilla extract

* Clementine (a Mandarin orange variety) substitutes:  Mandarin, Tangerines, Tangelos and thin-skin Valencias can be used.

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/Gas 5
Position the rack in the center of the oven.

1...Cooking of the CITRUS (a day ahead is best):
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.
2...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.
3...Dry mixture:
. If almonds were not pre-ground...do so in a powerful blender or food processor along with the ginger, chocolate, sugar and coconut.  Add also the baking powder and salt towards the end.   Remove these ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
4...Wet mixture:
. In the same blender or food processor, place the cooked citrus and their peels (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.
5...Combining BATTER and the whipped EGG WHITES:
. 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.   
. For about 50 minutes if baking in a dark pan or 55 min. in a lighter pan.  Close the oven and leave for another 10 minutes undisturbed.  Note: At first, cracks may appear on the surface which will eventually sink back down without initial cracks.  Remove the cake pan from the oven.  Place 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. 
7...Decoration (optional):  Sift and spread the icing sugar over the cake with an optional decorative stencil.  Note: If your wondering where I got this template...it came from a 'BINGO' game set with cardboard chips snapped out of it.

...Serving and 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.

This torte is an exceptional elegant ‘waltz’.

Any line-dancer would have to surely...
slow down their step to savour every morsel.

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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