"When we filmed this show, everyone’s garden in the hinterland was full of ripe sweet mandarins, add macadamias and some nomadic chicken eggs and I was reminded of this classic flourless citrus cake." Peter Kuruvita, Peter Kuruvita's Coastal Kitchen
- 6 seedless mandarins
- 9 eggs
- 375 g caster sugar
- 375 g macadamia meal
- 150 g almond meal
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Peppermint and cinnamon syrup
- 100 g caster sugar
- 2 sprigs peppermint, plus extra leaves to serve
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken
- 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthways, seeds scraped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipe makes about 30 small cakes.
Cooling time 1 hour
Place the mandarins in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, topping up with extra water when necessary. Drain and stand until cool, then refrigerate the mandarins until chilled.
Meanwhile, to make the syrup, place the sugar, peppermint, cinnamon and 125 ml (½ cup) water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add the vanilla seeds and scraped beans, then simmer until the mixture starts to become syrupy. Remove from the heat, strain and stand at room temperature until needed.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Lightly spray or grease two 12-hole muffin tins. The mixture makes around 30 cakes so if you only have one tray, simply re-grease and re-fill after cooking each batch.
Place the whole unpeeled mandarins in a blender and process until smooth.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until frothy. Fold in the macadamia and almond meals, then the bicarbonate of soda and the mandarin puree- the mixture is supposed to be runny. Fill the greased holes of the muffin tins right to the top with the mixture, then bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer withdraws clean. Remove from the oven, stand for 5 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a wire rack. Arrange the cakes, top-side down on a cake stand and pour over some of the syrup. Wipe out and re-grease the muffin holes, then repeat with the remaining batter and syrup. Scatter with mint leaves and serve.
• If you can’t find seedless mandarins, cut the cooked mandarins in half and squeeze out the seeds – if you don’t do this is it may make your cake a bit bitter.
Photography by Dan Freene. Food preparation by Peter Kuruvita/ Cody Fahey.