I am on a bit of a roll with the mandarin, ricotta and honey flavours. Plus mandarins are getting towards the end of their season so I’m eager to make the most of them. This one is, like last week’s cake, super easy. The flavours are similar -this one is a bit stronger flavoured – but the texture is quite different, more like a cheesecake.
The Muesli Bar Challenge is a weekly series of recipes for school lunch box baking – everyday baking rather than special occasion baking. It is recipes that are healthy, easy, cheap and based on fresh produce that is now in season. I have a group of school age reviewers, whose job it is to judge whether school kids really do prefer healthy alternatives the the overpriced, overpackaged junk food marketed as “muesli bars”.
Turn your oven on to heat up.
Grease and line with greaseproof paper a shallow 20cm square cake pan.
Separate three eggs.
Grate the zest off 6 mandarins, then juice them. You may need the juice from another mandarin as well, depending on how large and juicy your mandarins are.
- the 3 egg yolks
- 200 ml of mandarin juice,
- three teaspoons of mandarin zest,
- 5 good dessertspoons of honey,
- 500 grams of ricotta,
- one cup (150 grams) of wholemeal self-raising flour,
- a pinch of salt
Beat the 3 egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold the blended mix into them.
Pour the mix into your greased and lined cake pan, and bake in the middle of a medium oven for about an hour until the slice cracks on top and feels set. It will deflate and firm up more as it cools, so don’t be concerned if it feels a little soft, but you don’t want it still runny.
Meanwhile, make a syrup glaze.
In a small saucepan, simmer 100 ml of mandarin juice, 50 ml of water, and 3 dessertspoons of sugar. You can add a teaspoon of zest as well if you like a strong, marmelaide-y flavour. Simmer for 5 minutes or so until it goes thick and syruppy.
Spoon the hot syrup over the top of the hot slice as it comes out of the oven. Allow it to cool, set and deflate, then turn it out and cut into squares.