It must be a bumper season for mandarins this winter in Australia: there are stacks of them everywhere, super cheap and super sweet. We’ve always had a plentiful supply on hand for Miss One, but the little tyke can be fickle: she loves them one day and not the next! So with a few of them piling up and an episode of MasterChef tickling my sweet tooth (the high tea episode, to be precise, so many beautiful treats…) I knew what I had to do. But truth be told: I’d never cooked with mandarins before! This recipe leans on the success of my Syrupy Orange and Cardamon Steamed Puddings, although made with juice in place of some of the egg and milk (to enhance the mandarin flavour).
Instead of syrup I paired these little beauties with the extra richness of chocolate, which is always a great foil for citrus. Originally I used straight dark chocolate, gently melted, and for a quick fix it worked fine. But for a real treat make up a batch of my Rich Chocolate Custard: the extra body both in texture and flavour is worth the effort!
It’s still cold in Sydney: so do yourself a favour and get some of these warming little treats on the go!
- 125g butter, softened
- 75g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 mandarins: zest finely grated and flesh juiced
- For serving:
- 300ml rich chocolate custard
- Add the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy (a standing mixer is best if you have one).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, combining each one well before adding the next.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift in the flour and clove and add the mandarin zest. Fold to combine the dry ingredients into the batter.
- At this point you should have a smooth but thick batter. For moist puddings you need to bring the batter to a dropping consistency (where it will readily slide off a tilted spoon under its own weight) by gradually adding mandarin juice. Add juice, a bit at a time, stirring well and testing the consistency until it is ready.
- Grease four individual pudding cups with a little butter, then divide the batter evenly among the cups. Be sure to leave some room for expansion (at least 1cm). Even out the surface of the batter in each cup.
- Cover the cups with a square of baking paper then a square of foil, pleated in the middle allow extra expansion room. Secure the coverings to the cups with twine.
- Cook the puddings in a double steamer over boiling water until just cooked through, about 22-23 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool slightly before uncovering and turning out of the cups. You may need to carefully run a knife around the edge of the cup to dislodge the puddings.
- Serve warm, lathered with warm chocolate custard!