Unfortunately, you can only buy clementines here by the bag. And as luck would have it, I ended up with a huge bag of not-so-sweet fruit. But when life gives me not-so-sweet clementines, I make cake. And I try to make it even better by giving the recipe a cute Spanish name: "Bizcocho de Clementina y Harina de Maiz,"aka humble "Clementine Cornmeal Cake." It's by no means an authentic bizcocho – it's much denser, but still, it sounds much better in Spanish, no? [I love the word bizcocho; I can't stop saying it.]
Another ingredient that makes this cake special – and more quintessentially Spanish and anti-winter – is strong, fruity extra-virgin olive oil. The nice folks at Colavita sent me some olive oils to review and of those that I sampled, I decided that their Argentinian fruity extra-virgin would work best here: it provided an assertive gravitas contrasted with the lightness of the clementines. Very yin/yang. I'll post my review later in the week along with a special, fun contest of the Iron Chef variety.
This bizcocho is a moist, dense treat that would pair nicely with a cup of Earl Grey tea. It also makes a nice dessert, slightly warmed and topped with a dollop of vegan whipped cream or yogurt, served with a shot of Cointreau to sip on. It's shamefully easy to throw together--no mixer required – and of course you can substitute oranges, lemons or even limes for the clemmies.
Watch for the giveaway contest and review in a few days. And start thinking about how to use olive oil in dessert. [Yes, that was a little...er, big hint to get your creative juices flowing.]
Bizcocho de Clementina y Harina de Maiz [Vegan Clementine-Cornmeal Cake]
Makes one cake; serves 9-18, depending on how you cut it [I cut it into 18 pequeno squares]
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square pan or cake pan.
2. Mix wet ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl:
- About 3 clementines, peeled and diced. Remove any visible rinds or fibers [Leftovers are chef's reward]
- 1 T clementine zest
- 1/3 cup fruity extra--virgin olive oil [I recommend Colavita Argentinian fruity EVOO]
- 1/2 tsp orange extract [substitute lemon or vanilla]
- 1 T Cointreau or other orange liqueur
- 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 T ground flax seed + 3 T water [egg substitute]
3. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 T baking powder
- A healthy 1/4 tsp salt
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. .Mix until moistened then spread into the pan.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and a tester comes out clean. Cool before slicing.