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Mandarin and polenta cake August 26, 2012

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Sweet things.
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Once again, I found myself with what can only be described as a glut of mandarins. I was determined to not repeat my culinary adventures last time I had an excess of mandarins, so was on the lookout for a new recipe. When I saw this recipe for a clementine polenta cake, I was intrigued, and was curious to see how it would turn out – plus, I figured it had to be better than marmalade.

Because I had so many mandarins, I decided to double the recipe – so zested and juiced 10 large mandarins. I ended up having ridiculous amounts of the juice left over, so feel there is now some work to be done on mandarin juice cocktail development! I started by combining the eggs and sugar, and whisked them until they were pale yellow and fluffy. I added all the zest in and mixed it around.

Next, I mixed up the dry ingredients (plain flour, salt, baking powder and the polenta) and added half of it to the batter. I then alternated with olive oil, the rest of the dry ingredients, then more olive oil, until it was all incorporated. Because it was so much batter, I decided to cook it in my bundt tin rather than two normal sized cake tins.

While the recipe said the cake would be done in about 35 minutes, it ended up taking an hour. This was not surprising given the size of the cake I was cooking but it did mean I impatiently checked the progress of the cake every 5 minutes or so! Once it had cooled a little I turned it out of the tine and left it to cool completely.

I then set about preparing the glaze for the cake, which was a simple icing sugar and mandarin juice mixture. I poured this over the cake – if I was doing this again, I’d probably make the glaze a little bit thicker, but not much. I was still quite happy with how it turned out.

As for the end result: it was a lovely colour, and very moist. The mandarin flavour came through well, but was tempered by the olive oil and other flavours to ensure it wasn’t too sweet.

In my opinion, this was definitely a better use of my excess mandarins than my previous attempts. I’m sure this cake would work with any sort of citrus so I look forward to making this again with different flavours. But for now, I have a delicious bundt cake to eat, and no more excess mandarins to worry about.

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