Decadent clementine and almond cake with dark chocolate ganache

“This cake is the perfect choice for special occasions,” says author of Baking for Pleasure & Profit, Christine Capendale. “I normally garnish it with preserved clementines or dried orange slices dipped in chocolate. It’s a more expensive cake to bake but well worth the money.”

Serves: 1 medium cake


200 g butter
385g castor sugar
Grated rind and juice of 4 clementines
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
200g ground almonds
5 beaten eggs
100g sifted cake flour
Pinch of salt
90 g butter
150 g dark chocolate
15 ml honey
15 ml brandy
(optional) preserved clementines or oranges


To make the cake
Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Line a 24 cm springform cake tin.

Place the butter, 300g of the castor sugar and the clementine and lemon rind in a bowl and beat with an electric beater at a low speed. Add half of the almonds and mix in. Add the eggs gradually as the machine is running. Add the remaining almonds, the flour and salt and mix to a smooth batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin, level out with a palette knife and bake for about 50 minutes. If you test it with a skewer, the cake should be a little moist.

While the cake is baking, pour the clementine juice (you can substitute oranges) and lemon juice into a saucepan on medium heat and stir in the remaining 85g sugar. Bring the syrup to the boil and reduce it to about 125 ml. Pour the hot syrup over the cake when it comes out of the oven. Cool completely in the tin before removing the cake, preferably the next day.

The make the ganache icing
Break the chocolate into pieces. Mix all the ganache ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave on a low heat setting until melted. Stir the mixture every 30 seconds to prevent burning. Spread the ganache over the top of the cooled cake. Optional: garnish it with preserved clementines or dried orange slices dipped in chocolate.

Notes: This cake has a long shelf life (more than a week in the refrigerator), which means you can make it well in advance.

Recipe courtesy of Baking for Pleasure & Profit by Christine Capendale, published by Human & Rousseau and available for R250.

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