Sunday, February 10, 2008

Juicy mandarin orange cake

I've had a fairly blissful weekend all in all. I had zero plans which always feels like a total luxury. I woke up on Saturday and took myself off to The Wallace Collection. I've always wanted to visit this wonderful museum and I am really glad I finally made the effort to go - the collection of pictures is quite staggering and all displayed in such a marvellous setting. The courtyard restaurant is lovely (although fiendishly expensive) and it was all too easy to while away the morning there. The evening was spent with one of my oldest and very best girlfriends putting the world ( men) to rights over a Thai takeaway and a bottle of wine. Today, I met up with another friend and went to the Colombia Road flower market. I can't believe that I have never been before - such an array of wonderful flower stalls and great little shops selling everything from garden pots to paintings to artisan jewellery to baby cupcakes.

On return home this afternoon, I noticed the fruitbowl which was overflowing with mandarins. My weekly veg box has been rather heavy to citrus fruit (it is seasonal, after all) and I can't quite eat the double dose of mandarins fast enough. I decided that the best solution would be to bake a cake (...isn't that the best solution to everything?) and so set about concocting a mandarin cake. I decided to base it exactly on the lemon drizzle cake I make from time to time, simply substituting the lemons or mandarins. I'm pretty pleased with the result - obviously the cake is quite a bit sweeter than the lemon variant, but it it gorgously juicy and the flavour is divine (...presuming you like mandarins, that is). Possibly, it is more of a pudding-type cake than an tea-time cake, but I'll leave that up to you to decide...

Juicy mandarin cake


4 oz butter
5 oz caster sugar
6oz self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs

Grated rind and juice of 4 mandarin oranges

1 1/2 fl oz milk

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Place all the ingredients except the mandarin juice in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of the mandarin juice.

3. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

4. Whilst baking, prepare the syrup. Dissolve 3 tablespoon of sugar in the juice of the mandarins. Heat until it starts to bubble and then simmer for a few minutes until it becomes a little syrupy.

5. Once the cake is done, remove from oven and prick all over with a skewer. Pour the syrup all over the cake and then leave in the tin until cool. You may like to sprinkle with a little sugar on top.


Peter M said...

Antonia, your blog is proving to be a pleasant surpise and I like typing your name, as it's also Greek!

I'll trade you Spanakopita for your Mandarin cake, deal?

LisaRene said...

If you and your girlfriend have figured out what makes men "tick" please share :)

Who would dispute turning excessive ingredients into a cake is a bad idea? Sounds delicious to me!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Ooooh, yum - lovely variation on the lemon cake version!

Rosie said...

I adore citrus flavoured bakes Antonia and this mandarin cake sounds a treat!! Great bake :)

Rosie :)

Bellini Valli said...

I'll bet that this cake was sinfully good....I can imagine every orangey crumb reminding me of warmer days yet to come:D

Antonia said...

Peter - I love spanakopita, so that sounds like a great deal! Sadly, I took the cake to work today and it was devoured by my colleagues so I don't have any left... Maybe I should bake another!

Lisarene - If only we had figured it out!! It will remain an eternal mystery!

A forkfulofspaghetti - yes, it was nice to ring the changes with this cake. Thank you for calling by!

Val - it was really sunny this weekend in London, almost springlike and this cake made me think of sunnier seasons too!

Emiline said...

That cake does look juicy and delicious.
We had fresh mandarins in the store, a few weeks ago, but I didn't buy any. :(

Rosie said...

Hi Antonia, what a great bake. Mandarin orange flavour sounds a real hit to me! I adore citrus flavours and must give your recipe a try! :D

Rosie x

Trekkie said...

That looks wonderful. I must get some extra mandarins this week and have a try.

Trekkie said...

Quick question - does the 3 tablespoonfuls of suger for the syrup come from the 5oz listed, or is it over and above that amount?

Antonia said...

Emiline - I love the flavour of mandarins. Hope you get some next time they are in!

Lynn - well spotted! It is extra and above the 5oz listed in the ingredients - I shall amend, thank you for letting me know and do let me know how it turns out.