Mandarin Upside Down Cake
- 6-7 mandarins, peeled and segmented
- 8 ounces (226 grams) softened unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 1⁄2 cups white sugar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 1⁄3 cups, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 347 Fahrenheit (175C). In a large pot of water, boil the mandarin segments for 3 minutes, drain and dry them on paper towels.
- Place half of the butter (4 oz. or 113 grams) in a 9-inch round baking pan. Mix 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1⁄2 cup of sugar, then sprinkle over butter. Place in the oven until the butter has completely melted (approximately 6 minutes). Carefully add 2 tablespoons orange juice, mix until well combined.
- Arrange the mandarin segments in a flower-like pattern starting from the middle and spiraling outwards. Set aside while preparing the cake batter.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream/whip the zest, remaining butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla in a mixer until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add half of the flour mixture, then the milk and the remaining 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Beat in the remaining flour mixture.
- Gently spoon the batter on top of the mandarin segments, and spread evenly. Placing the cake pan on a baking sheet and bake the cake until golden brown, approximately 45-50 minutes. A cake tester should come out clean when inserted into the middle. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing from cake pan.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the pan (turn upside down). You can cool cake completely before serving or serve slightly warm. Best enjoyed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.