Mandarin Coconut Cake (& A Happy Lunar New Year!)

I’m going to be totally honest: I don’t remember how I made this cake.

Seriously, the whole experience is a blur. Luckily, there are photographs to piece it together.

But, to preface, happy Chinese New Year! It’s a glorious event. This is my first year experiencing the celebration of Lunar New Years and, to be honest, the event I attended was mostly just an Asian food fest accompanied with red envelopes and lots of cheer.

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I was invited to a family gathering, a room full of people eating dishes I can’t pronounce alongside crab puffs, mandarins and mochi.Our entry fee was an Asian contribution, so I brought with me a Mandarin Coconut Cake thrown together earlier that afternoon. My roommate brought a bottle of Sriracha.

The photos of this mandarin cake were awesome, but when I tried to piece my recipe back together I found I couldn’t even remember turning the oven on.

Cooking like the wind, in a blur of flour and orange sugar.

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I will tell you this. I started with a basic cake recipe, a standard flour-egg-sugar white cake platform. I added fresh-squeezed mandarin juice, a few tablespoons of mandarin and lemon zest.

I then baked the cakes at 375 until golden.

In the meanwhile (I do recall this part vividly) I boiled down the mandarin peels, sliced thin, with water and sugar until they were syrupy and tender. I coated them in sugar and used them as garnish.Voila! Candied mandarin peel.

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The glaze was easy, just powdered sugar and coconut milk stirred into a lovely, loose consistency.

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Once the cakes were cooled, glazed and garnished, it was party time.

(Which just goes to show, sometimes the best party tricks are spontaneous and totally unplanned. Piece of cake! Pun intended.)

Happy Chinese New Years! May this year bring you plenty of luck.

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