- mandarins, about 450g ( 3-6 mandarins, depending on size)
- 200g ground almonds
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2tbs brown sugar
- juice of 4 small mandarins
Place the whole mandarins in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Cover with a lid and boil gently for about and hour. Drain and allow the mandarins to cool slightly.
Why not cook up more mandarins than you need and freeze the puree ready for another cake.
Preheat the oven to 160C, fan-forced. Butter, and line with baking paper, a 22cm cake tin.
Remove the stem of the mandarins, cut in half and remove the seeds.
Place in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Add all the other cake ingredients and blitz until well combined.
At this stage I prefer to separate the eggs, and only add the yolks to the food processor. I whip the whites separately, and incorporate in the mix, by folding in by hand. I feel this gives the cake a lighter texture – Either way is good.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. You can cover the cake with foil halfway through the cooking time if you feel the top is browning too much.
While the cake is cooking prepare the syrup. Put the juice of the mandarins in a pan and add the sugar. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the juice has thickened.
Once the cake is finished switch off the oven, take out the cake and pour the mandarin syrup over the cake. Put it back into the oven, so that the syrup can be gently absorbed while the oven and the cake cool down, leave the door ajar.
Serve with poached mandarin segments, creme fraiche or Greek style yoghurt sprinkled with mandarin zest and toasted almonds.