This mouthwatering cake is one of my favourite winter recipes to bake.
Makes one 23 cm round cake or 12 standard muffins
Preparation time 25 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes for cake 1 hour 10 minutes for muffins
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mandarins
5 eggs, at room temperature
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
250 g (9 oz/2½ cups) almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
flaked almonds, to scatter
320 g (11¼ oz/1 cup) Mandarin Marmalade
icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
1 For the mandarin purée: Place the mandarins in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the mandarin peel is soft, about 45 minutes.
2 Remove from the water, allow to cool, then cut open, remove the seeds and chop the mandarins roughly. Purée until smooth. You will need 300 g (10½ oz/11⁄3 cups) of mandarin purée.
3 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly grease and line the base and side of a 23 cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin with baking paper or a 12-hole 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) muffin tin with paper cases.
4 Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Do not overbeat the eggs as this will aerate the mixture. Add the mandarin purée, almond meal and baking powder and mix well.
5 Pour into the prepared tin/s, scatter over the flaked almonds, and spread the marmalade over the cakes. For the single cake, bake for 40–45 minutes and for the muffins, bake for 20–25 minutes.
The cakes/muffins are ready when they spring back when pressed, or when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6 Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin/s. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Makes about 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz/42⁄3 cups)
Preparation time 45 minutes plus 10 minutes standing time
Cooking time 45 minutes
1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz) mandarins
735 g (1 lb 10 oz/31⁄3 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Peel the mandarins, trying to keep the peel as whole as possible. Cut the peel into thin strips and set aside.
Cut the mandarins in half horizontally and remove the seeds. Wrap the seeds tightly in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and tie with kitchen string. Roughly chop the flesh of the mandarins and place in a large heavy-based saucepan with the peel, sugar, lemon juice and 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water. Add the seeds in the muslin.
2 Stir constantly over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, for approximately 5 minutes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer uncovered, without stirring, for approximately
30 minutes or until the mixture will jell when tested on a cold saucer. Discard the muslin parcel. Stand the marmalade for 10 minutes before pouring into hot sterilised jars.
3 Jelling test: Drop a teaspoon of mixture onto a saucer that has been chilled in the freezer. Return to the freezer for a few minutes. If jelled it will have formed a skin that wrinkles when pushed with a finger.
Recipe from The Cook & Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa.
Image by Belinda Satterthwaite, The Shopkeeper