Mandarin cake with chocolate mandarin ganashe

Family enjoyed some of the cake for dessert!

One of the many perks of our new home is the garden, which, among other things, contains a massive and highly productive mandarin tree. When I say highly productive, I mean highly productive. Everyone I see has been presented with several. In the last few days I must have picked over 200 and I have probably picked at least double or more than that over the last month or more….and yet the tree is still loaded and still has green fruits and buds.

There are only so many mandarins one can eat in a day so today I took the plunge and juiced a stack of them and made cake. Given the interruptions to the baking process I am kind of surprised it worked out, but, vegan, gluten free baking seems somewhat more forgiving to these sorts of things.

CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mandarin juice (about 12 mandarins but it will depend how big and juicy they are – ours are on the small side)
  • 1 cup dates (soaked for at least an hour in the mandarin juice)
  • 3 cups almond pulp (ie the remains of 2 cups of soaked almonds turned into almond milk or use approximately 3 cups almond meal)
  • 4 teaspoons flax meal
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/3 cup each of besan (chickpea), potato and buckwheat flour
  • 2/3 cup milk

ICING INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dates soaked in 1/2 cup mandarin juice (about 4 mandarins worth)
  • 2/3 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
  • about 1/2 cup water to thin to desired consistency as needed.

METHOD

Preheat oven to about 170 degrees celcius (for my current oven this was 150!!)….incidentally I chose a new oven for my new kitchen today YAY!!!!!

Line a 20cm round tin with baking paper.

In a small food processor / mill, blend the dates and juice until pureed

In a large bowl combine all other ingredients and add in the puree.

Mix until well combined.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean (in my case it got baked for 10 left in a turned off oven while I did kindy and school pick up and picked up a parcel from the post office and then taken out while the oven was heated again and then baked for another 10 minutes…..yep I am really surprised the cake actually worked!!!)

While cake is baking make the icing by putting the coconut in a small blender / mill / food processor and blitzing until it is starting to turn to butter (depending if you like consistency of dessicated coconut or not), add in cocoa and dates / juice and blend until smooth / thick and creamy, use water to thin as needed.

Put icing in fridge to firm up a little.

Cool cake on a rack.

Cut into two layers (when completely cool works best although I waited until it was warm not hot as I had no time…..again it must have been my lucky day!!)

Ice with a layer of icing between and on top.

Serve to plenty of adoring fans (serves about 12).

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