Mandarin and hazelnut syrup cake
I wanted to keep the flavour fresh and bright here, so I blitzed the peel with sugar, which soaks up all the natural oils that come out of the skin. I then puree the flesh too, which adds beautiful moisture to the cake.
15 minutes prep.
1 hour cooking
- 5 mandarins (about 80gm each) – I like Imperial for this cake
- 250 gm caster sugar
- 200 gm butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 eggs
- 200 gm (1 1/3 cups) plain flour
- 100 gm hazelnut meal
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 150 gm thick natural yoghurt, plus extra to serve
- 3 mandarins, peeled and thickly sliced into rounds, peel of 1 mandarin reserved for syrup
- 300 gm caster sugar
- Peel of 1 mandarin
- Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 160'c.
- Butter a 22cm cake tin, line the base with a round of baking paper and dust the sides with flour, shaking out any excess.
- Peel 2 of the mandarins, then remove and discard any fine fibres from the skins.
- Blitz the skins and sugar in a small food processor until fine and smooth, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Blitz the flesh of the mandarins you’ve peeled in the food processor until pureed, discard any seeds and add to mandarin sugar along with butter and eggs and whisk to combine, Whisk in flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder and a pinch of salt, then whisk in yoghurt until smooth.
- Spoon into prepared cake tin and bake for 55 minutes – 1 hour until risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted withdraws clean.
- Cool in tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack placed over a tray.
- Meanwhile, to make the mandarin syrup, blitz the sugar with the mandarin peel until fine, then combine in a wide saucepan with vanilla and 350ml water.
- Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, simmer for 5-6 minutes until lightly syrupy, skimming off any scum that comes to the surface.
- Remove from the heat, add lemon juice, stand to cool slightly. Peel the remaining mandarins, and take off any fibres, then thickly slice and combine in a container with half the syrup in a container, refrigerate to chill.
- Pierce several holes in the cake then pour the rest of the warm syrup over the warm cake and stand to soak in and cool to room temperature.
- Serve the cake with the mandarins in syrup and extra yoghurt.