Throughout this entire project I’ve been asked, “Do you have a favorite?” While the answer certainly feels like I’m being forced to choose a favorite child, I do indeed have a favorite. Well really I had a favorite.
Up until this week I was stuck on week 8, a buttery citrus almond cake, laced with flecks of green pistachio and bubbling purple plums baked into the top. However, week 41 is a game changer.
On a trip to a local bookstore, I made a stop at the cookbook section (as one does when they’re entrenched in a year long baking project) seeking inspiration for this week’s bake. My eyes were drawn to the cover of a book entitled “Sweet” depicting a cake covered in lush figs.
The book is by Yotam Ottolenghi, a name I’m familiar with. I couldn’t put it down. All the recipes were so intriguing… Neapolitan bundt cake, sumac and cardamom, little cakes baked in a can three ways. These are the kinds of things I get fired up about.
Before I was chased out of the shop for reading and not purchasing, I filed away the author name and book title for further research. While I couldn’t find all of his recipes for cake from the book, I did find his recipe for Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake (tucked in chocolate ganache) on his website. Sold.
Like I said before, I have had a favorite cake throughout the challenge, but one bite of Ottolenghi’s delicious recipe and my mind was forever changed. The chocolate layer is so decadent and the cake beneath zings with citrus.
The recipe instructs to brush the hot syrup all over the warm cake the moment you remove it from the oven. Texturally, this is revolutionary. This step makes the cake moist and creamy, while the cake itself has no trouble staying together. It’s almost as if the cake continues to bake as the syrup soaks in.
Unfortunately, when I was finally able to photograph the cake the sun was just setting. Natural light would have done a better job highlighting the sheen of the chocolate ganache, but I’ll give myself a pass this time… blame it on day light savings!
Final thoughts on Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake:
- Number 42 in the challenge
- Number 1 in my heart