When I was thinking about how to present this post I realised that I was likely to come across as rather fickle. Or as I prefer to think about it, “taking a balanced view”. Seeing both sides of the issue. Yes, both of those sound much better than “fickle”. More mature & grown up (although I still sometimes laugh when I think of myself as a grownup).
You see, a while ago I wrote about the joys of experimenting with food and cooking – largely because I was sharing with you a dish that I’d developed on the fly. In contrast, this new post was to be all about a recipe that just works so why mess with it… A recipe that’s all over the blogosphere and I totally understand why. About NOT reinventing the wheel, so to speak (sorry, management consultant speak from my past life coming through).
How do I rectify these two competing philosophies?
Well, in thinking about it further and having a bit of a discussion with myself at about 5:30 this morning (yes, with advancing age I find I do talk to myself more and more, plus there was nobody to talk to at that time of morning) (I also find I digress a lot more, hence all these damn parentheses), I came to the conclusion that I can live with these competing philosophies without fear of self combusting. Different situations call for different approaches, that’s all. Where would we be without experimenting, lucky accidents, or things not going quite as planned? Still stuck mid stone-age I think. And bored silly. But on the other hand when you have a recipe (for example) that you like, that others like, and that just WORKS, then why mess with it?
So what is this recipe I’m alluding to?
It’s Nigella’s (no need for a surname) flourless chocolate clementine cake. Ta daaaaa…
I sometimes find that Nigella’s recipes can be a bit hit and miss. But when they work they tend to REALLY work. This cake is simple to make. Moist. Delicious. Chocolately AND orangey at the same time. Simple yet elegant. Gluten free. Keeps really well. Need I say more? It is a permanent item on our menus and clients regularly ask for the recipe.
It’s now mid-January. Dark. Dreary. Damp. That blah period after Christmas when spring still seems years away. Can you tell that January is NOT my favourite month? But oranges at this time of year are just so good and to help keep scurvy at bay we keep our fruit bowl overflowing with them (plus most other fruit sucks at this time of year!). Making this cake at this time of year not only uses the best of the seasonal produce, it is a strong deterrent against those dreaded January blahs. You could almost say it’s medicinal; essential to one’s well-being.
Oh man, I’ve just had a wicked thought. This cake would probably work really well with ground hazelnuts in place of the ground almonds. With maybe just a touch of cinnamon. I might just have to try that…