With the exception of the boiling time for the mandarins, this cake is super easy and quick to make and is a great way to make the most of mandarins in winter. It’s flourless and dairy-free so great for people with intolerances, too.
3 mandarins (Vic Market Organics, Stall 56, I Shed)
¼ cup orange-flavoured liqueur (Flowerdale Winery, Stall 84, I Shed)
1 cup caster sugar, plus extra ¼ cup to serve (Nut Trek, Shop 55-56, Dairy Hall)
1 tsp baking powder (Nut Trek, Shop 55-56, Dairy Hall)
6 eggs, lightly beaten (Farm Fresh Eggs, Stall 43-45, I Shed)
2 cups almond meal (Nut Trek, Shop 55-56, Dairy Hall)
¼ cup water
grated zest from 2 oranges (Vic Market Organics, Stall 56, I Shed)
Place mandarins in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer, adding water whenever necessary to keep mandarins covered, for 1-2 hours or until skin is soft. Remove any bad bits of skin, then quarter mandarins and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 24cm cake tin.
When the mandarins are cool, remove their seeds. Lightly whiz mandarins, skins on, in a food processor until they form a smooth puree. Add Cointreau, sugar and baking powder and whiz again. Add almond meal and stir thoroughly, then add the eggs and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix.
Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake for around 1 hour or until cake looks set in the middle, springs back to the touch and comes away from the edges of the tin. Check the cake after about 40 minutes, if you think the top is turning too brown, cover the cake with foil for the remainder of the cooking time. When it is ready, remove cake from oven and leave to cool in the tin.
While cake is cooling, place the water and ¼ cup extra sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange zest and boil until the mixture starts to caramelise. You can then strain the zest and let it cool on a plate to use as a garnish, or pour the sugar syrup over the cake.