Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mandarin cake - (Gluten free) with marzipan mandarins

This cake was so much fun and so quick to decorate. At my home, our family has committed to eating more seasonally and making good use of all the produce growing right on our section. I made this cake, this week for my husband's birthday, he is not a fan of icing, so this cake was perfect for him. The recipe was from Julie Le Clerc's Favourite Cakes book and Julie in conjunction with her publisher's Penguin, she graciously granted her permission to reprint the recipe for you all.
I originally tried the coconut version of this recipe, as one of my staff members Karina had made it. In the recipe Julie suggests options to use either 330g of dessicated coconut or 330g or ground almond. I knew if I tried the almond version I'd really love it (as I'm a huge fan of almond). My staff here at Kiwicake's are just gorgeous, when we are not sharing our baking or cooking, with each other, we are gossiping about recipes or what we are going to bake or cook - it is so inspiring. I am grateful to Karina for discovering this recipe - she tells me she prefers the almond too after having had a slice from this cake.

We planted our little mandarin tree some years ago and despite it's small size it's producing a vast quantity of mandarins at the moment.

I thought the mandarin's made of marzipan would be a nice compliment to the almond in the cake. They are coloured using the new Progel food colouring gel pastes, which I was thrilled with the workability of these gels. I modelled the mandarins using my hands, and just poked the dots on them using a toothpick. I used a small rose leaf cutter and veiner for the leaves.

When I baked this, I did use a springform cake pan as suggested. I fell in love with my new Fat Daddio's brand springform pan. It worked really well, I may use it for quite a few things I think, now that I have invested in one.

Recipe from "Favourite Cakes" by Julie Le Clerc, published by Penguin. The recipe is gluten free. If you do not need it to be gluten free, you can use any icing sugar and baking powder you have on hand.

Mandarin Cake.
600g Mandarins (or oranges) - we've tried both and prefer the madarins
6 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
3 cups of dessicated coconut (225g) or 3 cups of ground almond (330g) I used the ground almond
1tsp gluten free baking powder
gluten free icing sugar to dust

Preheat oven to 160C and grease a 22cm springform cake tin and lightly dust with gluten free flour.
Coarsely chop the mandarins, including the skin but removing any pips and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil, then simmer until mandarin pulp is tender and the liquid has mostly reduced (this will take 30-40 mins). Blend or process to smooth puree and set aside to cool.
PLace eggs and sugar in bowl and whisk with electric mixer until thick, pale and fluffy.
Fold mandarin puree into egg mixture. Fold in coconut or ground almond and baking powder. Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake for 70 minutes (mine took 65 mins, so check before timer goes off), covering with foil halfway through to avoid over-browning.
Allow to cool in the tin before removing to a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

We served this cake, with a mandarin frozen yoghurt - that my ten year old daughter made from a recipe from a children's cook book. The original recipe was apple frozen yoghurt, we adapted it to mandarin flavoured by switching out the apple juice and changing it for the juice of mandarins. When choosing your apples, use a mild apple (not a strong sour one, such as Granny Smith) as the mandarin is sour enough. It was the perfect accompaniment.

Mandarin frozen yoghurt.
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup juice squeezed from mandarins
1 tsp gelatine
500g greek yoghurt
3/4 cup grated peeled apple

Put honey and mandarin juice in a saucepan and stir on low heat until the honey has melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Then add gelatine, stir until dissolved.
Put yoghurt, grated apple and gelatine mixture in to a loaf pan (on our second attempt we used a silicone loaf pan, so it was much easier to turn out, than from a metal pan. We found this very difficult to scoop, to we cut slices from the loaf and it looked quite stylish on the plate, next to the cake when served.

Both recipes worked well with children helping, as all of the steps were very simple to follow. The hardest part for them was waiting for things to cool, to move on to the next step

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