Month: May 2015

Tangerine Cake with Tangelo Glaze

tangerine cake


Let me preface this post with a very important fact about myself: I am not a cake person. I don’t love cake, it always seems too dry to me. I am obsessing over every detail of my wedding except the cake. It’s just not my thing.

That being said– this cake is awesome. 

I crave this cake, and that’s no problem, because it is healthy and easy to make. I actually entered every ingredient into myfitnesspal, and it is about 120 calories per slice!!

tangerine cake


This cake is a fantastic way to use the last few tangerines or clementines from that giant basket you bought a week ago. As an added bonus- the cake uses ALL of the fruit. Yes, you read that right. Every last bit of the fruit: rind, pulp, peel, and all goes into this delicious cake!

The inspiration for this recipe came from a Smitten Kitchen post about clementine cakes. It is difficult to find clementines here, so I settled on tangerines. I’d been wanting some tangelos, so I threw those into the mix in the glaze, and it turned out to be a good choice. The glaze adds another level of tartness and sweetness to the cake, which complements the bitterness of the rinds. Also, as an added bonus, it soaks into the cake itself, keeping it moist much longer than normal cakes, so this cake gets more delicious the longer you let it sit!

You do need a food processor and a spring form pan, but the technique and cooking process is as simple as could be!


tangerine cake



for the cake
14 ounces tangerines (adds up to around 5-7, depending on how large they are)
6 eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/3 cups almond flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
parchment paper

tangerine cake

for the glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
5 tablespoons tangelo juice (about 2 tangelos)
1 tablespoon orange juice
4 pinches tangelo zest

tangerine cake


Step one. Wash the tangerines. Place them in a heavy pot with water. Boil, covered, for 2 hours. Check on the fruit after about one hour, you might have to add in more water, as it evaporates. After the second hour, drain the water out.

tangerine cake

Lightly skin and chop the tangerines, checking for seeds. You want to take out the seeds, but definitely keep everything else- it will all go into the cake batter.

tangerine cake

Puree the fruit, until it looks like the pulpiest OJ you’ve ever seen!

tangerine cake


Step two. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add in the sugar, flour, baking powder, and puréed fruit.

tangerine cake

Mix thoroughly.

tangerine cake


Step three. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 9″ spring-form pan by buttering it and covering the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan, and bake for about 30 minutes. If you are using an 8″ pan, it might take a bit longer.

As is mentioned on Smitten Kitchen, you do need to check this cake throughout the baking process. The sides can get pretty dark, but they crisp up, and almost make a crust for the cake (which is William’s favorite part). The cake is ready when a knife comes out from the center clean.

tangerine cake

Let the cake cool, while you make the glaze.

tangerine cake


Step four. Juice and zest the tangelo. Whisk together the sugar, juices, and zest in a medium bowl.

tangerine cake

tangerine cake


Pour the glaze over the cake. This makes a ton of glaze, because I wanted it to almost act like a sticky toffee cake, soaking up the sugar-juice mixture!

tangerine cake

Use a small flour sifter to sprinkle the cake with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

tangerine cake



Mushroom and Fontina Empanada with Cilantro Salsa


From Katie: As a history buff, y’all know I couldn’t just make a recipe like this and not explore the origins of the food. Empanadas turned out to have a fascinating backstory! Empanadas are a really neat food because they come from a long line of regional variations. Essentially, people have been stuffing crispy doughs with yummy fillings for centuries! We believe that empanadas are originally of Middle Eastern or Asian descent, possible coming down to us from samosas (also yummmm). The variations are really cool to look through, but ours are most similar to Argentinian or Peruvian empanadas, mainly due to the fact that they are baked. Truly, though, you could explore the entire culinary world simply through miniature, crusted pies like these. They have different names in many places, but they all have this homey and simple feel to them that is comforting and enticing- plus they are SO conveniently portable!

This empanada filling and sauce is a continuation of my earlier post regarding the empanada dough. This was our favorite combination of empanada sauce and filling that we tried that weekend and I’m also convinced it was the easiest.

The mushroom, shallot, and fontina filling is a slightly sweet and savory filling that is perfectly complimented by the crisp, spiciness of the jalapeño cilantro salsa.

The filling was loosely based on while the sauce was adapted from



One, half-batch empanada dough

empanada dough disks
1 egg, separated for the wash

Mushroom and Fontina Filling (makes 6-9 empanadas)

1 tablespoon salted butter
1 & 1/2 cups mushrooms,  sliced and chopped
1 cup shallots, chopped
1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
Start by chopping your mushrooms and shallots; then add them and the butter to a warm frying pan and cook until tender.

cooked mushrooms and shallots

Add roughly two tablespoons of the mushroom and shallot mixture to the center of the dough disk and top with about a tablespoon of cheese (you can start off with smaller amounts of filling to get used to stuffing and creating the empanadas).


with cheese









Then, lightly brush the egg white on the edges of the disk before you fold it over (this makes for a better seal). Take a fork and press down on the joined edges; flip the empanada and press down on that side. Finally, use the egg yolk to wash over the top of the sealed empanada before putting it in the oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes.



Jalapeño Cilantro Salsa

1 cup cilantro, packed
5 jalapeños
2 garlic cloves
2 oz lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil

Cut open the jalapeños to remove the seeds and stems before placing them in the food processor. De-stem and wash the cilantro, peel the garlic, and add them to food processor with the jalapeños. Pour in the lime juice and olive oil, and blend all of the ingredients together.


Empanada Dough

empanada dough

This past weekend my fiancé and I made empanadas, or as my co-worker called them– hot pockets.  This ended up being a really fun and straight-forward dish (especially with strawberry margaritas!).

This recipe can be the delicious base for any and all flavored empanadas you want to make.  We used a [tiny] food processor to try and give the dough the best consistency, but you can always do this by hand with a little elbow grease.  One thing we’ve learned with having a small food processor is that you pretty much almost always split the recipe into smaller portions and then mix them together later, it just ends up being more time consuming.

This recipe is adapted from



3 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
6 oz chilled butter
~8 tablespoons ice water (it’s very important that the water is cold!)
2 large eggs


To start, pour the flour and salt into the food processor and pulse it to mix.  Then, chop the butter into small pieces, add it (and one of the eggs) to the flour-salt mixture, and then process away. About halfway to it being completely mixed, start to incrementally add in tablespoons of your ice water.

caramel mousse pie

Once dough mixture slowly starts to turn into a buttery, powder-like substance (a little on the damp side) you can stop adding water.

caramel mousse pie

Next, empty the mixture into a bowl and start to press it together into the shape of a ball.

caramel mousse pie

Once all of the dough is part of one mass, you can either put it in the fridge for later or roll it out immediately, on a lightly floured surface, until it is around a quarter of an inch in thickness.

rolled out dough

After the dough has been rolled out, take a small bowl to cut out your empanada disks. You can alternatively use a small plate and a knife.

cutting out circles dough stack





After your disks have been finished and before you begin to fill them with your desired filling, take the last egg and separate the egg white from the yolk.  Beat them separately to make them easy to spread, this step will give your empanadas both a stronger structure and a beautiful golden color.

egg wash

When filling the disks, take a couple tablespoons of your mixture and place it in the center.

mushroom filling

Then use the egg white on the edges of the disk before you fold it over (this makes for a better seal) take a fork and press down on the joined edges then flip the empanada and press down on that side. Finally, use the egg yolk to wash over the top of the sealed empanada before putting it in the oven!

washed and ready

The amount of time and temperature for baking is dependent on the size and filling of your empanadas.  Our empanadas took about 20-25 minutes at 375 F.