To all those who are celebrating the Lunar New Year, (and that includes all Chinese in China, Taiwan, SE Asia, the rest of the world and not forgetting the Koreans) here's wishing every one a very prosperous and successful Rabbit year ahead. ( And I learnt that for the Vietnamese, it is the year of the cat!!?)
While Christmas is a time for religion,parties, pretty dresses and presents, Chinese New Year is a time for spring cleaning, tradition, family get together and non-stop feasting. For many, this is a time, where we literally hop from one family to another, visiting some relatives whom we would only see once a year...
L was complaining to me how he has been eating every 2 hours and gorging himself to surfeited lethargy...
I made matters worse for him when I faithfully regurgitated what I heard over the news yesterday... a pineapple tart contains 180-200 calories, a slice of barbeque pork (bak kua) carries with it 300-400 calories and a couple of egg rolls/love letters will throw in another 150-200 calories... Should I feel stressed? Yes, definitely! To think that popping 10 pineapple tarts would already have completed one's calorie intake required for the whole day, I must have consumed at least 3X of what I need for the day, binging on the variety of Chinese New Year treats.
I choose to share this Mandarin Friand treat because it does not contain any oil or butter. Nevertheless, the little cake is still amazingly moist and tender because of the generous amount of pureed Mandarins. The Friand, for those who are not familiar, is a traditional French cake which is based on nut meal. Most commonly baked with almond meal, I chose to make mine with Macadamia nut meal instead. It is not unsimilar to the Financier but this version does not contain any melted butter. Instead, seasonal Mandarin Oranges are boiled ,pureed and added into the cake to impart an exceptional burst of citrusy moistness. With the auspicious Mandarin Oranges as the staple ingredient, the aptness of this treat for the festival is impeccable.Served with orange flavoured Chantilly cream, this would also be a perfect treat for afternoon tea...
2 Mandarin Oranges, washed and scrubbed clean.
55g All purpose flour
1 tsp Doubel baking powder
150g Castor sugar
250g Macadamia Nut meal
1tsp Orange extract
Candied orange peel for garnishing.
1. Place oranges in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1hour. Cool down. Cut the oranges in half and remove the pith and pips. Puree the oranges with skin in food processor and set aside.
2. Heat oven to 180C.
3. Mix flour and baking powder in a small bowl. In a mixing bowl, mix Eggs and sugar until well combined. Whisk in flour, macadamia nut meal , orange puree and orange extract.
4. Grease mold with butter and pour batter into mold. Garnish with a strip of orange peel.
5. Bake at 180C for 20mins.
6. Cool down and serve.