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This mandarin cake recipe is for everyone! Those with zero appeal to sweets will find it a refreshing dessert alternative. Those with a serious sweet tooth inclination verging to addiction will find this dessert ideal. It’s so light that you won’t have to find an excuse for binging on it. Not to mention that you won’t have a guilty conscience hunting you down.Did I mention that it’s easy to make? It can easily be a last minute dessert for an unexpected dinner. Or a quick solution for a birthday cake. You can use mandarins, tangerines, clementines, or even oranges. Or any combination of them all. The traditional way of preparing this dessert is with clementines or mandarins. Either way, you will have a juicy treat and on hand since you keep it in the fridge for days – if it will last that long. One bite and the mandarin juices will explode in your mouth leaving you completely satisfied. It’s the excellent solution when you can’t stop thinking about sugar, wake up in need of a dessert, or cannot suppress your love to special treats. So here we go.
What you will need
1 ½ glass mandarin juice
Extra mandarin juice to moisten the sponge cake (about a glass)
1 glass of sugar
3 tbsps custard powder (vanilla)
3 eggs (beaten)
Sponge cake sliced in three pieces
Whipped cream (optional)
Heat up the mandarin juice in a casserole.
Add sugar and stir it with a whisk. Your intention here is to stir the juice so that the sugar will melt.
Add the three tablespoons of custard powder and keep whisking to avoid lumps but adjust your stove at lower temperatures. The custard powder is used to thicken the juice. The liquid will soon turn into a pudding.
Turn off the stove and remove the casserole. You need to leave it aside till the pudding cools off. You should keep whisking from time to time or cover the pudding with a transparent foil paper so that you won’t find a skin on the surface.
When the pudding cools off, add slowly the beaten eggs and keep whisking. If it is still in a liquid form, put it on the stove again at low temperatures and whisk. Once it turns into a pudding again, remove it from the stove and let it cool off.
Moisten the bottom piece of the sponge cake with the extra mandarin juice and apply some pudding on the surface. Repeat with the middle piece of the sponge cake and then the last piece by keeping enough pudding to cover the entire surface and walls of the top sponge cake piece.
You are actually ready to put it in the refrigerator unless you want to add some whipped cream on the top first.
Things to remember
- Always use the same glass to measure ingredients (sugar and juice in our case)
- Don’t over-moisten the sponge cake.
- Mandarin and orange-like flavors pair perfectly with coffee. So an alternative to moistening the sponge cake is with espresso – don’t forget to add sugar though.
- You don’t have to cover the top of the mandarin cake with whipped cream. You can leave it plain or decorate it with slices of fresh mandarin. In this case, remember to add the fresh fruit at the last minute or your cake will be watery.
- This is an easy to prepare cake but you need to focus on two things. First, on whisking especially when you add the custard cake. And second, on the low temperature of the pudding when you add the eggs.
- You can use a readily available sponge cake or make one on your own.
How to make sponge cake alone
1 ½ flower
3 tbsps custard powder
½ cup sugar
½ tsp mandarin peel
Separate egg yolk and egg white.
Sift and blend the flower & the custard powder.
Blend the egg yolks with the sugar in a stand mixer till they start turning white.
Add the mandarin peel, beat some more, and put the mixture aside.
Beat the egg whites to make meringue.
Add the meringue to the egg yolk/sugar mix slowly and interchangeably with the flower/custard powder mixture. Whisk gently.
Put parchment paper on a 9” round baking pan.
Pour your mixture into the baking pan and place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes to 180C.
Always remember that not all ovens are the same. You want the mixture to get a goldish appearance. In order to be sure the sponge cake is done, use a toothpick to test the cake. It should come out without any moist crumbs.
DON’T open the oven when the cake is baking. That’s a general rule when you are baking any sort of cake. If you do, the temperatures inside the oven change and the cake will collapse. Be careful when you are about to remove the baking pan from the oven too. Once you turn off the appliance, keep the door open and let the cake adjust to the new temperatures before you remove the pan.
When you finally get the baking pan out, let the cake cool off entirely before you slice it into three pieces.
If you decide to bake your own sponge cake, the recipe becomes more time-consuming and a tad more difficult. But it’s still easy to prepare. So, if you are craving sugar but thinking about calories, this dessert is your best bet. You can really have the whole cake and eat it too with no guilty conscience.