Nothing says a special occasion like a freshly baked cake. Whether that occasion is a big family celebration or just simply to cheer yourself up, these cakes are delicious ways to add to the moment.
Apricot and almond complement each other well and I like the sticky layer of apricot jam in the almond cake, but you can use a different jam if you wish. Raspberry also works very well.
Oranges and mandarins may seem similar at first glance but they have very different tastes. The mandarin is smaller and oblate in shape, it is sweeter and softer to touch, and its flavour is more distinguished than that of an orange. Blended together they make a very nicely flavoured cake.
Segmenting the mandarin can be a little tricky. Sometimes you can simply pull off the thin transparent layer or membrane from each segment after you have peeled the fruit, other times it is more difficult. If it is not giving way easily you can dip the segments into boiling water for about ten seconds, then snip the inner part of the membrane, it should peel away smoothly.
You will need a sharp grater for grating the mandarin as its peel is softer than an orange or lemon. Before I grate it I usually run the fruit under some very hot water and then vigorously rub it with a towel to remove any wax that may be on the skin.
- 100g of almonds
- 50g of ground almonds
- 240g of golden caster sugar
- 200g of plain flour
- 2 tsp of baking powder, sieved
- 200g of butter, melted
- the zest of 2 oranges
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- 150g of natural yogurt
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100g of apricot jam
- 350g of mascarpone cheese
- a selection of fresh berries
Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees and line two 8-inch round spring form or loose base tins with parchment.
Blitz the almonds in a food processor until they are roughly chopped. Mix them in a large bowl, with the ground almonds, sugar, flour and baking powder. Stir until combined.
Mix the melted butter with orange zest, olive oil, yogurt and eggs.
Combine both mixtures well and scoop the batter into the prepared tins.
Bake for about 25 minutes until baked through, a skewer should come out clean. Once cool enough to handle removed from the tin and place on a wire rack to allow it to cool completely.
Spread the apricot jam on the bottom tier of the cake and spread some of the mascarpone on top. If your mascarpone is thick you can whisk some air into to make it easier to spread. Add the remaining cheese into a piping bag. Place the next tier of cake on top and pipe the mascarpone onto it. Finally cover it with the berries.
- 335g of self raising flour, sieved
- 170g of golden caster sugar
- the zest of 2 lemons
- 100 mls of lemon juice
- 125 mls of elderflower cordial
- 2 tsp of vanilla essence
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 1/2 tbs of olive oil
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment.
Stir the flour, caster sugar and zest together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl beat the juice, elderflower cordial, vanilla, eggs and olive oil. When this is well blended add it to the dry ingredients.
Scoop the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer come out clean. Allow to rest in the tin until it is cool enough to handle then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- 250g of soft butter
- the zest of 2 oranges
- the zest of 4 mandarins
- 310g of golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 225g of self raising flour
- 75g of plain flour
- 180g of orange juice
- 2 mandarins, segmented
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and line an 8-inch round spring form or loose base tin with parchment.
Best the butter, zest and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Slowly add the eggs to the mixture then the flour and juice until a smooth batter is formed. Scoop it into your prepared tin.
Place the segments of mandarin on top of the cake, some may sink as they bake. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin until it is cool enough to handle then place the cake on a wire rack.