Orange and almond is a classic flavour combination - for obvious reasons... it is delicious!!! But when I went to my sisters old house we picked over 200 mandarins off her tree! They are sitting in green bags filling up our living room, so I thought it was about time I did something with them! 

Mandarins are the perfect substitute for oranges here. The first time I made this cake I made a 4 layer cakes, but this time I just used smaller cake pans and make a two layer cake for my boss's birthday... hence there were also cupcakes made with the rest of the mixture!

some of the size combinations you could use are here:

 - 12 muffins + 2 6'inch cakes

- 3 7'inch cakes 

-3 8'inch cakes (these will be slightly thiner, but delicious all the same!

Now for the icing... I think it makes the cake, but as always it is completely optional! I used a combination of ricotta and cream cheese with just a little butter to hold it all together. It makes for a much lighter icing than a traditional buttercream or cream cheese icing. It is rather a loose (aka runny) icing, so if making it on a hot day, make sure to refrigerate in between use!

Mandarin and Almond Cake

9 eggs

375grams Caster Sugar

1tsp vanilla

300g mandarins

375grams Almond meal

2tsp baking powder

Method: First prepare the mandarins, it is best to do this the night before, but if you are in a rush you can just chill them in the freezer for 30mins once cooked. Place the mandarins in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to the boil and boil for 1-2hrs. Remove any pips from mandarins and then place in a food processor (skin and all!!) and process for 3-5mins or until smooth. Chill the mixture.

Prepare the cake tins by cutting circles of baking paper for the base of the tins as well as strips of baking paper for the sides of the tin, spray lightly with oil! (this cake can stick so best to be safe!)

In a large bowl whisk the eggs and caster sugar until light and fluffy, add in the vanilla. Whisk through the mandarin puree and then finally stir through the almond meal and baking powder until just combined. 

Divide the mixture between your tins and bake for 20-30mins or until cooked through!

Allow the cakes to cool completely before you remove them.

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Ricotta and Cream Cheese Icing

250g Ricotta

250g Cream cheese

100g Butter

2 cups icing sugar

toasted flaked almonds

Method: In a stand mixer whip ricotta, cream cheese and butter together for 10mins until light and fluffy. Then gradually beat in icing sugar. If the mixture is running chill in the fridge for 20-30mins.

Assembly: Place one cake on a plate, then top with 1/2cup -3/4 cup icing and spread until 1cm before the edge. Top with another cake and icing once agains. Repeat with remaining layers. One the final layer spread the icing right to the edge! Top with toasted flaked almonds. Store in the fridge until ready to eat!

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