Michelle Dar­mody

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Inside - Michelle Dar­mody

MAN­DARINS are a colour­ful blast of sweet­ness through the win­ter months. They are both con­ve­nient and tasty. Eas­ier to peel than an or­ange and, for me, the per­fect size for a nice cit­rusy blast. They are also great in bak­ing.

While very sim­i­lar to an or­ange they have their own unique taste, there are sub­tly dif­fer­ences. They are also a nice size for mak­ing the cara­malised slices to top the cus­tard tart be­low. Af­ter mak­ing the fi­nanciers you can use the left-over egg yolks for the cus­tard. Ad­mit­tedly you will cre­ate a few more spare egg whites which per­haps you can use to make meringues or add them to an omelet. By us­ing just the white of the egg in the fi­nanciers it gives them a beau­ti­fully light tex­ture and a slight crisp­ness to the ex­te­riour while keep­ing soft in the cen­tre.

Fi­nancier buns are usu­ally made in their own spe­cially shaped rec­tan­gu­lar tins, which re­sem­ble gold bars, hence the name. Here I have made them in a fluted bun tin, which gives a nice fin­ish. You can use a more sim­ple round bun tin if you wish. Re­mem­ber to both lightly grease the tin and then dust flour over the but­ter. This will help to en­sure that the buns do not stick and is im­por­tant when you are not us­ing bun cases.

Choco­late and man­darin work very well to­gether. The zest gives a gen­tle hint of citrus to the cake. If you are mak­ing cara­malised strips of peel to dec­o­rate the fi­nanciers you may want to keep some aside for the choco­late cake. The peel will last for a week or so in the fridge.

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