One of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years has to be Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” The story. The visuals. The soundtrack. The entire film is beautiful from start to finish and is one of the only movies I can recall leaving the theater after seeing and not only being moved to tears by how perfect it was- but feeling immensely satisfied- like every dime that had been spent on my ticket was worth it.
I’ve since watched the movie a handful of times On-Demand, each viewing just as enjoyable as the last- and the most recent being just the other night. One of the minor, but re-occurring plot devices in the film is the clementine cake Walter’s Mom (played by Shirley MacLaine,) bakes. No spoilers here- because I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet watches it as soon as humanly possible- but I felt inspired to try my hand at baking my own!
YOU WILL NEED:
* Food processor
* 8-9 inch springform pan
* Parchment paper
* 6 eggs
* 5-6 clementines
* 1 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar
* 2 1/4 cup of ground almonds
* 1 teaspoon of baking powder
OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
2. While the oven heats up, butter the springform pan and line with cut and fitted parchment paper.
3. Poke washed clementines 5-6 times with a knife or fork before placing in a covered, microwave-safe dish/bowl and heating for 3-4 minutes or until the clementines are soft and mushy.
4. After letting the clementines cool for a few minutes, place them- peel and all- into the food processor and grind until they reach a smooth, puréed texture.
5. Beat the 6 eggs and 1 1/4 cups of sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is light in color and thick in consistency.
6. Add the puréed clementines, the 2 1/4 cup of ground almonds, and the teaspoon of baking powder to the eggs and sugar and continue thoroughly mixing.
7. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. It may need to stay in for a little longer to ensure the middle is cooked through and evenly. If this happens, be sure to cover the top of the cake with a thin layer of tin foil to prevent the surface and edges from getting burnt.
8. After removing the cake from the oven, let it cool. Once it’s cold- and therefore won’t crumble into pieces on contact- remove the pan and parchment paper. Glaze and decorate.
To create the glaze, I just mixed some powdered sugar, a little butter, and a cup of freshly squeezed clementine juice- and topped the cake with some candied sliced clementines (simmered sugar and water!) The total cooking time, sans-cooling the cake pre-decorating- was about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes- and the cake can serve up to 8 or 10 people!
And of course, the last step to this recipe is to stuff your face, (and be sure to bring a few slices along when you set off on an adventure into the unknown- just like Walter Mitty!) The cake is decadent, tangy, and goes really well with a nice cup of coffee or tea!
And to close out this fun foodie post, here is my favorite quote from the movie- taken from a screen-grab as Walter examines a gift left for him in the beginning of the film. The saying, the “Life Magazine” motto, is lovely- and has become my mantra for 2015 because of how powerful it is.