Mandarin cake

Mandarins are a burst of sweet freshness on a crisp winter’s day. During winter, they’re abundant and inexpensive to buy, and if you’re lucky enough you might have a mandarin tree at home dripping with deep orange orbs. Make the most of them
Mandarin cake


Mandarin Topping


1.Make the topping first. Using a sharp knife, slice off the skin and all pith from mandarins. Slip out the segments by slicing either side of the membrane. Remove any pips. Put mandarin segments in a bowl with the Cointreau and leave to soak. Squeeze juices from mandarin membranes and reserve. Cream butter and brown sugar in a small bowl, beating with a wooden spoon. Butter the sides of a 23cm cake tin, then spread the creamed butter and brown sugar over the bottom of the tin.
2.Preheat oven to 180°C. To make the cake, put butter in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until creamy and loose, then beat in caster sugar and continue beating until fluffy and lighter in colour. Lightly beat eggs together in a small bowl. Gradually beat eggs into creamed butter and sugar, then sift over flour and fold in with a large spoon.
3.Finely grate the zest from the orange. Strain mandarin segments and measure juices. Make up to ½ cup with any reserved mandarin juices, and, if necessary, freshly squeezed orange juice. Mix juices and orange zest into cake batter.
4.Pat mandarin segments dry with paper towels. Arrange segments in tin on top of brown sugar and butter, starting from the centre. Spoon in cake batter and level top.
5.Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden and springy to touch. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then cover with a large plate and invert. Leave for 2-3 minutes for butter and sugar glaze to trickle down over cake then lift off tin. Cool thoroughly before serving.

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