It is Chinese New Year and I had plans to make something to celebrate this joyous annual festival. The first pastry that came to my mind is Pineapple Tarts (not exactly a tart but more of a cookie) which I have managed to make after one week into the New Year. On top of that, I wanted to make something different other than the usual cakes for Chinese New Year. So I was wondering how I could make something with Mandarin Oranges (which is a sign of Good Luck and a fruit not to be missed for in every Chinese family during this time of the year.
After a shopping trip to the supermarket, I returned with a bag of Lemons, the usual items for cakes and another bag filled with ... Clementine! Just side-tracking a little, Clementines and Tangerines are both part of the Mandarin Orange family. They each differ in the tartness of the flesh and the fragrance in the peel. I found that Clementine share a similar taste and smell as the Lemon when I started to zest the orange. The juice of the Clementine is not significant to differentiate it easily when mixed with the Lemon.
I baked the cake using a normal white cake recipe (a pound cake recipe will be fine). I found a Lemon Curd Cake recipe off BBC site which produced quite a cake with a nice bite. I included some milk to add on to the taste of the cake. I did not have enough butter so I added a little vegetable oil. But I would strictly advised against this or even replacing all the butter with vegetable oil because the oil spoils the taste of the cake. The cake should have a delicate fragrance of milk and butter on top of the Citrusy flavours. For those of you who do not like your cakes to be too sour, omit the Lemon Juice. The zests of Lemon and Clementine should suffice to lend lots of flavour to the cake.
To complete the cake (and my craving for Lemon curd), I attempted my first homemade Lemon Curd. I was used to cooking huge amounts of Lemon Curd for tarts that I always get a little intimidated by cooking in small domestic amounts. C'est bizarre hein? I took longer than the directions given in the recipe to cook the Lemon Curd (with Clementine added too!) as I was not sure if the product was thick enough. Later on, I realised I should just cook till just thickened and leave the Lemond Curd to set on its own. Oops! In addition to the sinful Lemon Curd, I made some Lemon Icing to square off the sour flavour with more sweetness.
One piece of advice: Do really be patient and wait for the Lemon Curd to completely cool before icing the cake with it. Yes .. mistake Number Two!
All in all, I am pretty happy with the Lemon and Clementine Cake...giving the old Lemon Curd Cake a Chinese New Year twist by adding Clementine.
Here's the link to the Lemon Curd Cake recipe. Simply add the zest of Clementine for Ur Resident Chef's Inspired Creation! Have fun!