Utilising the best of vibrant seasonal fruits with bright, zingy flavours, this gluten free cake is a total crowd pleaser.
Serve simply with a drizzle of sticky syrup and candied citrus peel as shown here, or, if you're feeling a little more extravagant, a dollop of creamy mascarpone will push this humble tea cake up to bona fide dessert status.
For the cake, line the base and sides of a 20cm round cake tin and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (170 fan-forced).
Place mandarins in a small pot and submerge in water. Boil the mandarins on a medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until the skins have softened.
Remove mandarins from water and cut in half, remove any seeds. Using a stick blender and bowl, or food processor, purée the mandarins until smooth.
Add the sugar, almond meal, eggs, baking powder and vanilla and stir/blitz until smooth and well combined.
Pour batter into prepared tin. Bake cake on middle rack of oven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, to make the syrup, remove the skin from both the mandarins and the lemon and cut into small, thin strips.
Into a measuring jug, juice the fruits. Add water if needed until liquid totals 120mls.
In a small saucepan add the sugar and juice and boil over a medium-heat for 5 minutes. Add the julienned peel and allow to continue boiling for another 2-3 minutes.
While the syrup is boiling away transfer cake to a serving plate and, using a skewer, skewer holes into the top of the cake. Once the syrup has reduced, pour slowly over the cake, allowing cake to soak up all the syrup. Arrange the candied peel on top.