Monday, 1 August 2011

Vegan Mandarin and Goji Berry Mini Cake

When you live with only 2 people in a household you tend to need an event to make cake because a whole cake between 2 people is really just too much (especially if one of them isn't that into cake - it isn't me). But cake is great so you still want to be able to enjoy it for just 2 right? The solution is Minicake - my new favourite thing. It is perfect for 2 to 4 people so you won't feel too guilty for eating a whole cake between you. This quantity fits perfectly for a cake tin which is 19-20cm diameter and about 7cm high. So if you want to make a full sized cake just double the quantity (or if you have a huge mofo cake tin then triple it).

2 mandarins
1 cup soy or rice milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1 tsp orange extract
1/3 cup Goji Berries*

1 cup margarine (ie Nuttelex because that stuff is awesome)
3 1/2 cups icing mixture
1 tsp vanilla extract
1- 2 tsp mandarin juice (optional)
1 mandarin, to garnish

To Make:
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcuis (or a little less if your oven is a very hot one).
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the soy milk and apple cider and vinegar. Whisk to combine and set aside for a minute or two to let it curdle a bit.
3. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and orange extract and whisk to combine.
4. Sift in the flour, bicarb, baking powder, arrowroot, and 5 spice and whisk to combine. Don't worry if the mix isn't completely smooth, a few lumps are fine. Divide the mandarin into segments and chop each segment in half (removing any seeds as you go), you should have about a cup of chopped mandarin. Add the mandarin pieces and Goji berries to the mix and stir through.
5. Grease your 20cm diameter mini cake tin well and line the bottom with greaseproof baking paper. Pour your mix into the cake tin and put in the oven for approximately 50 minutes. Don't open the door while cooking to check it though! Cook for 50 minutes and then check that it is cooked by inserting a sharp knife into the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean then your cake is done. If not put back in the oven for 5-10mins.
6. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and allow to cook while you make the icing.
7. Combine all the icing ingredients in a bowl and beat using an electric mixer (or good old elbow grease if that is your thing) until fluffy.
8. When the cake is cool top it with the icing and decorate it with mandarin segments. I decorated mine (as you can see in the picture) with a pomegranate that I had lying around that needed to be used up... but seriously who has a pomegranate just lying around?? So you can use any other kind of fruit for the contrasting colour - I recommend fresh or frozen raspberries or chopped fresh strawberries.

*Goji berries have become a bit of a fad lately and they are available in the health food section of most supermarkets. But unless you are a rich sucker you are much better shopping for Goji berries in a Chinese supermarket, China town or at a Chinese Herbal Medicine dispensary. They will be much more reasonably priced!

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