5.3.11

mandarin cake

I saw variations of this recipe in many places over the years, and since it is one of my all time favourite cakes, I always wanted to make it. But it was this recipe that finally motivated me enough to do it.

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I am so jealous of this blogger  (in most flattering way) because he is living my dream - restoring the house on a beautiful Croatian island. He grows his own olives and mandarins, and a variety of other gorgeous veggies, he often writes about getting together with his mates for some home-made food, such as lamb on the grill with home-made bread, olive oil, wine, salad and even home made brandy!
Make sure you check out his blog, it is a real feast, and for the ones of you who speak the language - he writes in the authentic Dalmatian dialect that is really unusual and picturesque, a real pleasure for all the senses :)

I couldn't find organic little mandarins so I scrubbed the ones I had really well and they were perfectly fine. I think it is really important to find small ones, with thin skin, and perfectly ripe. Some recipes call for those large clementines with thick skin and I can imagine that the flavour on those would be a lot more bitter, requiring a lot more sugar, whereas this was pure unadulterated balanced perfection.


Ingredients:

6 small ripe mandarins (organic if possible)
4 large eggs
180 g sugar
200 g ground almonds
1 tsp (almost full, perhaps 3/4 of a tsp) baking powder

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180 C

If you can't find organic mandarins, then scrub them gently but thoroughly in a bit of hot water prior to cooking.
In a pan with enough water, cook them for at least 30 minutes (I cooked them for 1 hour and they were very soft but excellent). Drain the water off and leave them to cool.
Once cooled, halve them to remove any pips, and then put whole mandarins, skin and all, into a food processor or a blender and process until you get smooth and creamy mixture.
Separately mix eggs and sugar until the mixture becomes pale. To this add ground almonds, baking powder, and then the mandarin mixture. Mix until combined.

Using medium or large round cake tin (the one with removable base), first oil the bottom and sides and then line with greaseproof paper. Pour the mandarin mixture into it and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and cover with aluminium foil (this is done so that the top doesn't get to dark), and return to oven for further 30 - 35 minutes.
Cooking time should be 60 - 65 min in total.
When done (pierce the cake with a skewer, if it remains clean the cake is done) leave it to cool to room temperature, then remove from the tin, remove the paper, place on a serving platter and dust with some icing sugar.
My cake didn't sink in the middle but it might do because this is a very moist cake.

Cut in pieces and serve.

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Bon appétit!

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