Tag Archives: mandarin

Tarta de Santiago with Mandarin Orange Compote

4 Jan

Tarta de Santiago

Some of the almond blossom are out early this year. The almond trees don’t normally sprout their barely pink candy floss blooms for another few weeks at least but the mild weather we had over Christmas has tricked them into thinking it is nearly Spring.

Almond Blossom

They are so pretty and decorate a fairly bare landscape at this time of year. Not much is happening on the vegetable front either at the moment where I run with the dog. There are few lettuces, cabbages and some chard. What there are plenty of however, at this time of year, is oranges. They are everywhere, like the bright sunny reminders of where we live. We live in Andalucia, land of oranges and mandarins.

Oranges

Oranges and almonds are a classic combination that complement each other perfectly in cooking. I have used them together before in this Mandarin Almond Drizzle Cake, these deliciously light Ricciarelli Biscuits and in this Butterbean Tagine with Quinoa & Halloumi

Mandarins

These organic mandarins were 60 cents a kilo at the market consequently I have quite a few. So apart from using a lot to decorate the lounge and kitchen over the holidays and snacking on them in the afternoon, I needed to find a recipe that used a few of them up.

My friend Caroline also has a tree on her terrace heavy with navel oranges so that every time I see her I leave with a huge carrier bag full of them. They are brilliant for juicing, The Washer Up has two, freshly squeezed, with his breakfast every morning, but I still needed to use some, to make room in the kitchen apart from anything else.

Tarta de Santiago.

Tarta de Santiago is a deliciously moist almond cake from Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Pilgrims and tourists visit the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where the relics of the apostle Saint James (Santiago in Spanish) are thought to be buried. They also probably all eat some of this cake as it is in every bakery window, dusted with icing sugar and decorated with the shape of the cross of the Order of Saint James.

Tarts de Santiago with Orange Compote

This was one of the first desserts on our menu at the restaurant when we opened it 11 years ago. The bakery down the hill made it for us, this was before The Washer Up had perfected his pastry skills and made all of them himself. We served it warm with a hot cherry sauce which was also gorgeous if you can get hold of some cherries where you are.

This version of the cake is beautifully light because the egg whites are whisked (to a meringue basically) and folded in separately. It is gluten-free as it is made using ground almonds and dairy-free because there is no butter or milk added. The mandarin orange compote is made with honey instead of sugar and can be served warm or cold.

Tarta de Santiago

Tarta de Santiago with Mandarin Orange Compote

Serves 8, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free. Adapted from Time for a little Something

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • large pinch of ground cinnamon
  • the zest of one orange
  • a few drops of almond extract
  • 250 g ground almonds
  • icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°. Prepare a 24-cm springform cake tin by roughly cutting a circle of baking paper a little bigger than the loose base of the tin, and put this over the base before clipping the tin back together. Rub the base & sides with a little oil.

Whisk the egg whites and salt in a large clean bowl until soft peaks form. Then whisk in half the caster sugar (100 g) a tablespoon at a time, until you have a glossy meringue texture.

In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the caster sugar, orange zest, almond extract and cinnamon. Beat until thick and increased in volume.

Now fold in just a little of the egg white mixture into the yolks to loosen it then fold in the rest gently, taking care not to deflate the mix too much. Then gently fold the ground almonds in too.

Spoon/pour  the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 45 minutes. Check it after about 30-35 minutes – if it is browning too quickly, put a piece of baking paper over the top of the tin so the cake can still cook but not brown any more. Once the cake is golden and springy, remove it from the oven and let it cool in its tin for 10 minutes

When it is cool, run a knife around the edge, turn it out onto a plate, remove the baking paper from the base and serve upside down. Dust it with icing sugar just before serving. You can make a template of the traditional St James Cross/Sword and put that in the middle of the whole tart before dusting with icing sugar which is how it is usually served.

Or I used a cross from a necklace that my dad bought me and used that on each piece of cake!! Thanks Dad xx

Tarta de Santiago

Mandarin Orange Compote

  • 500 g oranges & mandarins
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom water (optional)

Cut the top and bottom off the oranges then cut down around following the line of the peel to remove it all.

Using a sharp knife, cut in-between each membrane to remove a segment of orange into a small sauce pan. When all segments are removed squeeze juice into pan too.

Peel mandarins and remove as much white pith as possible and any pips.

Put all ingredients in small pan, bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 mins or until soft and jammy. Puree, taste and adjust honey to your liking. Leave to cool or serve warm with the cake.

Tarta de Santiago

This cake can be served as a lovely light dessert perfect for this time of year or with your afternoon tea.

Have a Lovely Weekend! Feliz Reyes!

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Easy, Delicious Mince Pies with Mandarin and Ginger Cheat Ice Cream

17 Dec

I should rename this blog 101 things to do with a mandarin….! Well it is Christmas and they are everywhere and I like them.

I didn’t like mince pies until I made some myself, because the Washer Up was begging me to, last Christmas. The bought ones have a strange taste and make your teeth go funny. I thought, if I’m going to make them, I am going to make them better by adding all the Christmas flavours that I love. Like mandarins….

And almonds and hazelnuts and cranberries and Amaretto………! Trust me it makes such a difference. You get the flavour and crunch of the nuts, the sweet sharpness of the cranberries and the punch of the Amaretto. You don’t have to use Amaretto you could use Frangelico to pick out the flavour of the hazelnuts or Cointreau to enhance the orangeyness. If you don’t want to add alcohol you could use cranberry juice, you just need some liquid to soak into the dried fruit while it’s cooking. I use puff pastry because it’s lighter and crispier and you don’t have to make it!!If you’ve never liked mince pies you should give this recipe a go, it might change your mind..

Easy & Delicious Mince Pies Recipe

makes about 18, vegetarian

  • 1 pack frozen puff pastry defrosted in the fridge overnight
  • 75 gr brown sugar
  • 75 ml port or red wine
  • 400 gr mixed dried fruit
  • 100 gr dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 mandarin, zest first & then juice
  • about 50ml Amaretto (or your chosen liqueur)you may need to add more
  • a few drops of almond extract
  •  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • about 100 -150 gr chopped nuts (I used almonds & hazelnuts)walnuts would be good too
  • 1 egg beaten with a little water
  • icing sugar for dusting

In a large pan, dissolve the sugar in the port or red wine over a gentle heat. Then add the dried fruits, cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, zest & juice of the mandarin and the Amaretto. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed stirring occasionally. You may need to add more amaretto if it is absorbed quickly. Add the almond & vanilla extracts, honey and the nuts. Stir well to combine everything and leave the mixture to cool in a bowl.

When the mixture is cool(very important or the pastry won’t work), preheat the oven to 210 degrees. Butter & flour your muffin tins then roll out your first piece of puff pastry to a thickness of 2mm (leave the other piece in the fridge). Cut out circles of 9 or 10 cm diameter and push them in the muffin tins you should get 9 or 10. Then fill each pastry case with a heaped dessertspoonful of the mixture. With the off cuts of pastry you can cut out Christmas tree shapes to put on the top of the mixture (or use a star cutter). Brush the pastry trees with egg wash and bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Keep an eye on them they cook quickly. Leave to cool for a few minutes then take them out of the tin. Leave the tin to cool down before rolling out your next batch.

Dust with icing sugar from a height and serve while still warm with a coffee for elevenses or whatever time of day it is…..To make them even more special you can serve them with this easy cheat ice cream. I don’t have an ice cream maker (hint hint!) so this is a great way to “improve” a tub of store-bought vanilla…

Quick Cheat Mandarin & Ginger Ice Cream

  • 1 tub of vanilla ice cream (doesn’t have to be full)
  • the zest of 1 or 2 mandarins
  • some crystallised ginger chopped finely (1 tbsp should be enough)

Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften for about 5 minutes. It should be soft enough to stir but not melted. Stir in the zest and ginger until evenly distributed and put the ice cream back in the freezer to firm up until you are ready to serve it. How easy is that?

This ice cream is really good with the Mince Pies, would be a perfect accompaniment to Christmas Pudding and is also amazing with the Washer Up’s Rhubarb Crumble…Happy Christmas!!

My First Panettone with Mandarin Jam

11 Dec

Does breakfast get any better than this..

I don’t think so. This was my first experience of making panettone and it turned out pretty well. The taste is fantastic, it could have been a little lighter but that might have something to do with the electric cutting out halfway through cooking it! It does that here when it rains heavily, very annoying when you are slightly nervous about baking your first panettone and have just spent quite a long time getting the dough to rise…

My idea is to make mini ones as gifts for Christmas but I don’t have any little baking tins and I wanted to try it out on myself first before inflicting it on other people. The Washer Up said it was like a giant tea cake and there is nothing wrong with that!

The other thing I was desperate to make was mandarin jam with the mountain of mandarins we have here. I think a gift bag of a mini panettone & mandarin jam should make most people smile on Christmas morning, don’t you?

Panettone Recipe

makes an 8 or 9 inch round cake, vegetarian

adapted from “Pickle” by Ellie Jarvis http://elliejarvis.co.uk/

  • 125gr dried mixed fruit (I used 75gr sultanas & 50 gr dried cranberries)
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • grated zest of 2 mandarins(or 1 orange)
  • 1 tbsp cointreau (or grand marnier)
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1 level tbsp active dried yeast (1 sachet)
  • 50 gr caster sugar
  • 450 gr strong white bread flour (I used plain flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg & 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tbsp honey (I used miel de cana)
  •  2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 gr butter, softened

Put the dried fruit in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak while you make the dough. Heat the milk until warm, remove from the heat, add the yeast, 1 tsp of the sugar and leave to activate for about 5 minutes. (A foam will form on the top).

Into a large bowl sieve together the flour, remaining sugar and salt, make a well in the centre and add the beaten eggs, milk & yeast mixture, honey, vanilla, cointreau and softened butter. Mix it together with a wooden spoon and then use your hands to form a soft dough and mix for a few minutes. Drain the fruit and dry with kitchen roll, add it to the dough along with the zests and knead it all together until well-distributed. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 1 or 2 minutes. Shape in to a ball, put it back in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and knead again for 1 minute. Put it in your 8 or 9 inch cake tin which has been lined with baking paper and rubbed with oil. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise  again in a warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven to 17o degrees, brush with beaten egg or milk and bake in the bottom third of the oven for 35 – 40 minutes until browned & risen. Leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn it out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Slice it like you would a loaf of bread and serve it toasted and smothered with butter & mandarin jam. ..

If you have never made jam before, this is a really good one to start with. It is easy, quick & delicious you will be so impressed with yourself that you will probably never buy jam again!

Mandarin Jam Recipe

makes 1 jam jar

  • 500 gr mandarins/ satsumas/tangerines
  • 250 gr sugar
  • the juice of 1 lemon

Wash 2 or 3 of the mandarins and zest them carefully. (you don’t want any of the white pith). Then peel all the mandarins removing as much of the pith and filaments as you can. Cut each mandarin in half around its middle and pick out any pips. (Do this over a bowl to collect any juice). Put the halves in the bowl aswell and blitz with a stick blender until you have a smoothish puree. (you can do this in a food processor).

Put the mandarin puree, zest, sugar and lemon juice in saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium high heat then reduce the heat so it boils gently. Cook for 20-25 minutes stirring occasionally until it sets.  To check if it is set put a saucer in the freezer for a few minutes, then put a teaspoon of the hot jam onto it. Leave it to cool slightly then run your finger through the jam, if the line holds it’s set.

Pour into a hot, sterilized jar, (I pour boiling water in the clean jar and tip it out just before pouring in the jam) seal tightly, turn upside down and leave to cool. Store in the fridge when cool.

I was so pleased with how this jam turned out. The texture is perfect and it looks and tastes lovely. The perfect accompaniment to my homemade panettone!! I can’t believe I made panettone……

     

Mandarin Drizzle Cake

29 Nov

 

This is a very common site here in Andalucia at the moment. The iconic orange trees laden with ripe fruit are everywhere. We took a right where we normally go straight on, on our walk today and came across a gorgeous lush green valley where these mandarin trees were growing. We followed the steep path down to the river bed where the dog had a drink and we had a rest before the the long walk back uphill…

There was a different microclimate down near the river to what we are used to. A different smell of damp leaves and there was even some diamond-like dew on the leaves. I haven’t seen dew since I left England and was really amazed with the diamonds….

Even the flowers are mandarin coloured its like the whole valley is bathed in lush green with highlights of tangerine..

The mandarins are being given away or, even worse, rotting on the ground. We have a mountain of them in our fruit bowl and although they are sweet and delicious as they are I wanted to try a Nigella recipe I had seen for a clementine cake where you boil the whole fruit and then blitz it up with the rest of the ingredients. This recipe uses 4 or 5 clementines/mandarins and as we have many more I wanted to make a mandarin syrup to drizzle over it so it soaks into the cake to make it really moist….

This cake is made using ground almonds rather than flour which makes it even more moist and gluten free.

Mandarin Drizzle Cake

adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe

  • 4 or 5 mandarins/clementines (about 375gr total weight)
  • 6 eggs
  • 225gr sugar
  • 25o gr ground almonds
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder

For the syrup

  • 110gr caster sugar
  • 110 ml mandarin juice

Put the mandarins in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook over a lowish heat for 2 hours. Keep an eye on them and add more water if necessary. (Don’t do what I did and leave the water to dry out while on the computer and burn the bottom of the pan & the mandarins!!)

Drain and leave to cool slightly then cut in half and remove the pips and any green stem bits on the outside. Put the halved mandarins(peel & everything) into a food processor and blitz. You can then add all the other cake ingredients to the food processor and blitz together. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Butter a 21 cm springform cake tin and put a circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the preheated oven for an hour. Have a circle of foil ready to cover the top after about 40 minutes to stop it burning. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for about 10 minutes on a rack.

Meanwhile make your syrup. Put the sugar & mandarin juice in a small saucepan over a low ish heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Take a cocktail stick or wooden skewer and make lots of holes in the cake that go right to the bottom.

Spoon the syrup, carefully,all over the top of the cake letting it soak in until you have used all of the syrup. When the cake is cold you can remove it from the tin.

This is a deliciously moist cake with an intense mandarin flavour and aroma. Serve, as it is, with coffee or with some ice cream or creme fraiche as a dessert…

Wild Fig and Mandarin Muffins

13 Nov

Tomorrow morning we are going to help pick olives at a friends finca and Margarita, the hostess, is making lunch for everyone, so I thought I would make something sweet to keep the sugar levels up mid morning. We picked some figs yesterday on our walk and the restaurant has orange and mandarin trees in the garden so that was the inspiration. I’ve made orange & cranberry muffins before so it was just a matter of replacing the cranberries with figs…

Wild Fig & Mandarin. Sounds like a Jo Malone fragrance doesn’t it, and if it isn’t it should be. They smell really good..

Wild Fig & Mandarin Muffins Recipe

Makes about 10 vegetarian

  • 200 gr self raising flour (I used wholemeal)
  • 125 gr caster sugar
  • 100 gr brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large mandarins
  • 200 gr fresh figs roughly chopped
  • 250 ml greek yoghurt
  • 50 gr butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl then stir in the sugars and cinnamon. Grate the zest of the mandarins into another bowl then beat in the greek yoghurt, butter and egg until smooth. Add to the dry ingredients and fold in gently. Peel the mandarins, remove as much of the white pith as you have the patience for, then cut the segments in half longways. Add the figs and mandarin segments to the mixture and fold in gently using as few strokes as possible. Do not over beat, the mix should be slightly streaky. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with 10 paper muffin cases and spoon the mixture into the cases to about 3/4 full. Bake for 35 minutes until golden and firm.

Eat warm, straight from the oven, or if you can wait for them to cool, make a mandarin icing glaze to drizzle over them. This increases the mandarin flavour and makes them even more moist and scrumptious….

Orange Icing Glaze Recipe

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • about 3 or 4 tsp freshly squeezed mandarin juice

Put the icing sugar in a bowl and slowly whisk in the mandarin juice a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick drizzling consistency. When the muffins have cooled completely take a teaspoon of the icing, hold it over the muffin and drizzle it artistically over the top. Leave it to soak in a bit if you can wait, if not just enjoy straight away with the icing all over your fingers..

Perfect for afternoon tea or a mid morning snack, to keep you going until lunch, maybe!………

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