My neighbour Rex swung by and gave me a bag full of Mandarins from his laden tree. I was over the moon, I can eat them morning, noon or night, they are so easy to peel and their flavour is sweeter than oranges and their fragrance is distinctive.
I had a play around with them in the kitchen and came up with this Mandarin & Almond cake with Mandarin curd. I served them up on ABC North Coast radio Good Gardening show on Saturday and Phil and Graeme gave me a big thumbs up, so did my boys!
Give these cakes a whirl or even just whip up the curd which is great in scones, pancakes or smothered over the middle of a sponge. Enjoy!
Mandarin & Almond Cakes with Mandrin Curd
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
1/2 cup thickened plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 large mandarins, peeled, chopped and seeds discarded
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 mandarin, zest and peeled and broken into segments
1/4 cup mandarin juice
Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 12 non-stick mini loaf pans with oil.
Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until thick and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined. Stir through the yoghurt, ginger, mandarins and vanilla.
Use a large metal spoon to fold through the flour, almond meal and cinnamon into the butter mixture until well combined.
Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the cakes are light golden. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
While the cakes are baking, put the sugar with 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan and stir over a medium to low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mandarin segments, zest and juice and cook over a medium to high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the segments and zest and cool onto a plate. Keep the liquid onto a medium to high heat for a further 5 minutes or until thickened.
Top the cakes with mandarin segments and zest. Serve with mandarin curd (recipe to follow) and whipped cream.
Quick and Easy Mandarin Curd
Makes 1 cup
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup mandarin juice
80gms butter, cubed
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined, careful not to overbeat you don’t want bubbles to form.
Pour the egg mixture into a medium sized saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and keep stirring for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until cool. Place into a sterilised jar and keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.