Winter is for me all about orange/yellow colours and citrussy flavours. The fruit bowl is always full of oranges, mandarins, clementine, grapefruit and lemons to stave off seasonal ailments, always organic and unwaxed as I tend to use the peel and zest a lot in my cooking and baking. One of my favourite flours to bake with is millet, to which I was introduced years ago by my sister, way before the healthy eating fad of recent months. Very rich in nutrients and minerals, it imparts a characteristic nutty flavour, without having a too overpowering taste, albeit being a little gritty...still nothing in comparison to polenta! Coconut flour is also always lurking somewhere in a corner while ground almonds are never too far away.
The bulk of ingredients sorted, I mixed butter with coconut oil and the result was an upside down cake beautiful to see and delicious to eat, it would be selfish not to share it! Let me know what you think.
1 lemon + 1 orange,
1 cinnamon stick + 1 star anise + 4 cloves
30g unsalted butter + 40g coconut oil
100g unrefined caster sugar
3 free range eggs
3 tsp baking powder
100g ground almonds + 60g millet flour (or polenta) + 50g coconut flour
2tbsp plain yoghurt
almond slivers handful (optional)
Place the lemon and orange whole in a small pan, add the whole spices and cover with water. Cook for about 20min, until soft. Lift out with a slotted spoon and cut open. Remove the seeds and blitz to a purée. Slice the mandarins across into 4mm thick slices and place in the spicy water with 2 tbsp of sugar. Boil for 10 minutes then remove from the water and set aside to cool. Reduce the spicy water to a thin syrup by boiling it for 10minutes. You should have approximately 1/2 cup of it or slightly more .
Line a 20cm round tin with baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180degC. In a small pan set on low heat melt butter and coconut oil. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with honey, sugar and a pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Add the flours together mixing thoroughly, then the yoghurt, melted butter and puréed citrus fruit. Add the baking powder last.
Arrange the mandarin slices onto the bottom of the cake tin. Pour the cake mixture onto them and bake in the oven for 50 min. Remove from the oven, pierce with a skewer and pour the spicy syrup on top. Leave the cake to settle for a few minutes then turn onto a cake stand. Peel the parchment off and cover with almond slivers and the spices for decorative purpose if you want.