Chinese New Year isn’t complete without scrumptious snacks and goodies to savour. And since Mandarin oranges might be in ample supply, why not bake an upside-down orange cake?
This dessert is both sweet and tart, with a delicious citrusy aroma that will fill your entire home. For best results and convenience, use small Mandarin oranges that tend to be less sour and are also seedless.
For the syrup
6 petite Mandarin oranges, thinly sliced
200g castor sugar
For the batter
260g butter, melted and cooled
250g brown sugar
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
200g cake or plain flour, sifted
200g almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
6 tablespoons buttermilk
juice and zest of 4 petite Mandarin oranges
For the syrup
In a saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Let it bubble for 5 minutes, then add the orange slices and cook for 10 more minutes.
Remove the orange slices and set aside. Allow the liquid to reduce until it becomes a sticky syrup.
Remove from the heat and set aside. Do not refrigerate.
For the cake
Preheat the oven to 160°C.
Line a 20cm cake pan with baking paper and drizzle a few tablespoons of syrup. Neatly arrange the Mandarin orange slices on the base of the tin, covering the surface.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
In another bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar and egg yolks. Gently stir in the flour, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and buttermilk.
Add the orange zest and juice. Do not overmix.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites.
Gently spoon the batter into the prepared tin, making sure the orange slices are not disturbed.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the tin. Place the cake upside-down onto a plate and remove the baking paper.
Brush more orange syrup on top of the cake, then slice, serve and enjoy!