Back to this date in February I was lucky enough to have a food festival going on near to where I live and even more luckier to have met one of my all time favorite pastry chefs at a Tea and Cake session. A last minute decision to attend the food festival with my aunt who shares the same baking passion as me ended up in being one of those unforgettable evenings one has in life having attended a free demo and bake sessions with a baking legend of the kitchen ….. (Wait for it )
Chef Eric Lanlard.
As good looking as he is on Tv he is much more in real and let’s not forget overtly charming and down to earth. Having a picture taken with Chef Eric is a high in itself and then to be able to attend a baking session with him is a whole different thing. And of course getting to eat what he has prepared right in front of you is an experience never to forget. So many high points of that evening and it took me this long to get to the blog to post about it 🙂
Having said that, I hope to possibly make up for the time lost by trying out the very cake Chef Eric prepared at the baking demo. Inspired by Middle Eastern flavours and local ingredients here’s a cake with a twist and a notable favorite among his visitors at his London eatery. And even better if I told you it’s easy, quick, Gluten free and of course delicious.
4 clementines (350gms approx)
2 cinnamon sticks
6 large eggs
250gms light muscovado sugar
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
300 gms ground almonds
1 tsp Orange blossom water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsps apricot glaze, warm
Icing sugar for dusting
Put whole unpeeled clementines and cinnamon sticks in a medium sized pan with cold water and bring to a boil with a closed lid.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours covered.
Drain the fruit and remove cinnamon sticks. Leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Halve the fruits. Discard the pits and puree in a blender along with the skin until well blended and thick.
Preheat the oven to 180℃ and line a 23 cms round tin which is about 8-9 inches deep.
Using an electric beater, whisk together eggs and 225 gms of sugar in a mixing bowl over light simmering water in a pan until the mixture is pale and mousse like. Take the mixture off the heat and add to it baking powder, ground almonds and the fruit puree. Gently fold in.
Transfer the mixture into the ready tin and allow to bake for 20 minutes at 160℃ and for a further 30 minutes at 140℃ or until the skewer comes clean.
Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
To prepare a syrup for the cake, slice into half, one of the pomegranates and squeeze both halves to remove its juice. Place juice in a saucepan over low heat and add remaining sugar. Bring to a boil and turn off heat. While still warm add vanilla extract and orange blossom water. Stir in until well blended.
Using a pastry brush soak cake with warm pomegranate syrup. After a while spread warm apricot glaze over the cake also covering its sides.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.
I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I have enjoyed reliving one of the greatest highs of my baking life. Truly, baker dreams are made of this. So here’s sharing a picture of the enigmatic chef himself.
For more updates, please do follow me on Instagram as well @annaceta89 and Happy Baking!