Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This cake is moist, delicious, and dense. And, if you care, gluten-free. How can a cake be so good when it has neither butter nor flour? I'm not sure, but this one certainly is! While it's not for the kiddies, it will definitely go over well with the adults - it is also terrific for entertaining as it serves at least 10. Because it is so rich, you really only need a small slice.
Mandarin Almond Cake:
3 mandarins (seedless)
1 cup/250g sugar or caster sugar
2 cups/230g ground almonds
Caramelized Zest Topping:
1/4 cup/60g sugar or caster sugar
1/4 cup/60 ml water
zest of 2 oranges
Put the mandarins in a saucepan with water to cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours, ensuring there is always water covering the mandarins. When done, drain and cool, then cut into quarters and puree them (skin on) in a food processor. Whisk the sugar and eggs together, then stir in the mandarin puree and the almonds.
Preheat your oven to 315F/160C and pour the batter into a greased 24cm/9" springform pan. Bake for 1 hour until set. You'll be able to tell when it's done when the middle springs back when you touch it. Allow to cool in the tin.
For the topping, dissolve the sugar in the water and then add the orange zest. Boil together until it just starts to caramelize (it will start to get sticky), then remove the zest and let it cool.