Claudia Roden's orange and almond cake or Nigella Lawson's clementine cake, without the excuse of a nut allergy, but I have never met them myself. Flourless, moist and intensely citrussy, to me they are pretty much perfect. They've been on my mind a bit lately - I've recommended it to a friend who needed a gluten free recipe: it was very well received, and Kavey made it for the first time recently. And, of course, we're still in citrus season, with all sorts of interesting blood oranges, seville oranges, mandarins and whatnot to be had.
But what I chose to use were the fruit from our calamondin bonsai. Calamondins aren't frost tolerant, so it's been inside for the winter, and has responded to the coddling with loads of fruit.
The method of making the cake usually involves boiling the whole fruit, then removing the seeds and processing it. I decided that was probably not going to work for the calamondin, because they have loads of seeds. Instead, I used the method I hit on a couple of years ago making calamondin marmalade, of freezing the fruit. The peel then has a really soft texture, just like the boiled citrus, and the pulp comes away cleanly. I put all the peels in the processor and pushed the pulp through a sieve.
I followed Nigella's recipe, but did a half quantity (calamondin aren't sweet, so I followed her directions for the lemon version) and baked it in a 6" tin. I should have reduced the oven temperature a bit, I think - it was very thoroughly browned outside by the time it was cooked in the middle.
This cake doesn't need icing, but Paul had an inexplicable craving for a lemon butter icing. I didn't know he knew what butter icing was. So I reserved a teaspoon of the pureed calamondin, and whipped it with 70g butter and 130g icing sugar and a splash of milk.
It really is an excellent cake.