1 kilogram small mandarins, peeled and all white pith removed
300 grams caster sugar
300 mls water
150 mls extra water for thinning the caramel
3 tablespoons brandy or Cointreau
mint leaves for garnish
Put the mandarins in a heat-proof bowl.
Put the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove any sugar crystals from the side of the saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water.
Boil the syrup to a deep golden colour, swirling the pot very gently in a circular motion to allow the caramel to cook evenly. Don’t swirl it right up the sides of the pan or it will catch and burn.
Remove from the heat and carefully pour in the combined water and brandy. The caramel will spit vigorously so take care not to burn yourself by covering the hand that is holding the saucepan with a tea towel.
Place the caramel back over the heat and stir until smooth. Pour the caramel over the mandarins. When cool, store in a sealed container and refrigerate.
To serve: Place 2-3 mandarins in each serving bowl and spoon over some of the caramel.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and garnish with a mint leaf.
Menu: Serve this with Filo Fish Pie as main.