Mincemeat, clementine and almond cake
Prep time: 30 mins
Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan
This is a deliciously moist and fruity alternative to a traditional Christmas cake. Serve with tea or warm as a pudding with vanilla ice cream
Prep time: 30 mins
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Nutritional information (per serving)
- 150g sultanas
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 250g very soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 175g caster sugar
- 5-6 clementines, depending on their size
- 200g ground almonds
- 100g light soft brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 200g gluten-free mincemeat
- 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 200g polenta
- a few gratings of whole nutmeg
Step by step
The cake keeps well, stored in an airtight container, for up to 3 days; it can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
- Put the sultanas in a small bowl and add the brandy, stir together and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
- Lightly grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin (loose-bottomed if possible). In another small bowl, mash together 50g of the butter with 50g of the caster sugar and, using the back of a spoon, spread this mixture as evenly as you can over the base of the prepared tin.
- Now, leaving the clementines unpeeled, use a sharp or serrated knife to slice all but 2 of them into rounds, discarding the end slices. You'll need 15-20 rounds altogether, depending on the size of the clementines. Arrange the rounds on top of the sugary butter, overlapping them slightly so there aren't many gaps. Finely grate the zest of the remaining 2 clementines and squeeze the juice – set aside.
- Beat together the remaining 200g of butter with 100g of the caster sugar, the ground almonds, light soft brown sugar, eggs, mincemeat, baking powder, polenta, clementine zest and nutmeg until combined. Stir in the soaked sultanas (and any brandy left in the bowl), then spoon the mixture on top of the sliced clementines and smooth the top.
- Bake the cake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, covering the top with foil after 30 minutes to prevent it from over-browning. Cool the baked cake in the tin for 30 minutes or so before putting it upside down onto a board and allowing the cake and the base of the tin to drop. Leave to cool until it is barely warm, then carefully remove the base of the tin and the baking paper.
- Heat the clementine juice with the remaining 25g of caster sugar and bubble it for a few minutes until syrupy. Brush this warm syrup on top of the cake and leave the cake to cool completely before slicing and serving.
This is a deliciously moist and fruity alternative to a traditional Christmas cake. Serve with tea or warm as a pudding with vanilla ice cream. Note: As it's made with polenta and ground almonds, this cake is suitable for those avoiding gluten. However, coeliacs or those with severe gluten allergies should double-check the polenta packaging to ensure it is prepared in a gluten-free environment.