Tuesday, March 21, 2017

TCS March 2017: Mandarin, Polenta and Macadamia Cake

It is now the 22nd of March, meaning I am late! Apologies!

The members at TCS are baking from the following cake selection for March!

Thierry Busset's Ten Layer Coffee Chocolate Cake,

Greek Coconut Cake, Banana Loaf, and Mandarin, Polenta, and Macadamia Cake
My first choice was the Greek coconut cake cos I simply love coconut and I have
had great results with all the coconut themed cakes I baked with TCS books,
but decided to try something different:
Mandarin, Polenta and Macadamia Cake from page 107
 We have been experiencing some problems with the current book,
in terms of oven temperature, length of baking times, and
measurements of baking pans, but the members managed to overcome them
(by baking seconds!) not something novice home bakers would do, but
only for the die hard bakers from TCS!!
So 'Warning' this book is not for the inexperienced bakers, me included;
but because of the number of years I have been with the TCS group,
I managed to learn a lot from the other more experienced (and amazing!)
members of this lovely group of bakers.  Thank you! 
I have never had to boil citrus fruits for use whole in cakes before,
hence my choice for March.  The Australian mandarins I bought
were not too small or large (around 130gm each) and instead
of four pieces, I used only three.  I boiled them and drained them twice
immediately upon reaching boiling point (from cold water start) and then
on the third time (from cold water again) - let them simmer for 45 mins
~this step is to rid the citrus fruits of the bitterness~
And I managed to overcome my fear of grinding nuts into meal, and I did it!
I toasted the macadamia nuts and ground them with some icing sugar
to prevent them from clumping together!  Success!
This recipe uses only macadamia meal, cornmeal (I used extra-fine),
eggs, butter, fine sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and pulped mandarins.
I did reduce the sugar from 1 cup to 2/3 cup and it was just nice!
And finally I managed to make an 'upside-down' cake, two in fact!
These popped out of the various mini pans without a hitch!
I used a 4" spring form pan, two rectangle pans, two scalloped pans,
and two small ramekins - all buttered and parchment lined where needed!
And oh! I baked them for only 35mins instead of one hour!
I dare say - this was a great success as the cake was amazing warm
from the oven (last night!) and room temperature (this morning)
with a strong cup of Vietnamese coffee!
And I did baked my February 2017 but was very late for the reveal date,
so here it is!
The Cake Slice is baking from
"World Class Cakes" by Roger Pizey, for our new season! 

The Cake Slice Badge


kitchen flavours said...

You are spot on about this book! I have come across various issues with the instructions in the recipes. Have experienced different baking temp, different size pan and extended baking time! But despite all this, yup, we managed to overcome those issues! Hooray for the bakers at TCS!
Your mandarin cake looks super moist and delicious, love the gorgeous orange colour!

OvenDelights said...

Emily the texture of this cake turned out beautiful! It really looks delicious! Love the idea of making it a upside cake! I'm going to have to make this cake, it sounds wonderful!

Gina said...

That sounds really good Emily. Definitely one I want to try!

Kim said...

Your cakes look lovely. Did you put an orange slice on the bottom before flipping them over? I'm planning to try this again, and will definitely boil the mandarins longer.

Hazel said...

You know I haven't had to much an issue with baking times and maybe that's a thing with more western (aka not American) baking times. I usually do have to watch carefully if I bake from an American recipe as our ovens definitely run differently! But I am so glad this bake worked out for you.. A bakers we know, we know things and when we bake with our gut, we often get it right! Love that you still have your mini theme.. You have the best pans! :)

EmilyC said...

Yes I did add a slice of mandarin each in four of the smaller pans (not two!), my first ever upside-down adventure!

Emily said...

I love my cake tester and use it often, Hazel! Mini theme baking is great for older household like mine.

Felice Geoghegan said...

I have to agree that I have had to adjust baking times, and like you I love my cake tester. Love your cakes, especially since you used Australian mandarins. This is another recipe that I am going to have to go back and try - every month all the recipes look so good after I see everyone's posts :)

Karen Luvswesavory said...

Hi Emily,
These mandarin orange cakes look yummy.Like the 'upside-down' mini cakes. Yes, different pan size required different baking time. The oven temperature is also critical in our bakes. So, really must know my oven well. Enjoy!