Z'nuni: Brunch for The LGK

>> Monday, January 18

Swiss German has a wonderful way of turning simple words like "snack" into amazing works of condensed thought.  Take, for example, the word "znuni," which basically means midmorning snack.  Nuni is a shortened version of neun, for nine.  The 'i' is the Swiss diminutive suffix, making it cute and little (instead of the German 'schen').  The 'z' doesn't make that much sense to me, but I guess it is an abbreviation of das, the article for 'nuni,' which is surprisingly a noun.

What's my point?  Well tomorrow I have to bring it-not in the cheerleading sense, but in the znuni sense-something for everyone to eat.

It's Switzerland.  Did I mention that?  Well let me paint you a clearer picture of what that means at znuni-that means bread, butter, cheese, and chocolate.  And mandarines because they are the international winter food of western countries.  I eat rice cakes and trailmix.  That is because in Swiss the word for 'gluten free diet' is probably something like 'nichts' which means 'nothing.'  Or 'luft' which means 'air'.  Seriously, as far as most of my classmates are concerned, I must live from water, lemons, and salt, because there's nothing else edible that I could possibly eat.

So today I've decided to bring something fantastic for znuni.  I thought about it a long time and it even merited a parental skype-call to get some advice.  The love child of my fling with znuni is:

The Mandarine Upside-Down Cake

2 1/2 cups flour or 2 cups flour* (or sub a little hazelnut meal)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar (yikes!)
1 packet vanilla sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4-5 mandarine oranges (plus more for juice, if you want to use fresh juice)
1/2 cup margarine plus  4 tablespoons melted
pinch of salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
3 eggs
1 cup (I used half coconut milk, half mandarine juice)

Melt the 4 tbsp margarine and pour into a round cake pan.  sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar.  peel the mandarines and slice them so that they look like pineapple rings, with cross-sections of the segments showing, and lay the rings out in the pan.  fill the spaces between with the dried cranberries.

cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy.  transfer to a big mixing bowl

mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Alternate the dry ingredients in 3 parts with the milk in 2 parts as you add them to the fluffy egg mixture and combine.  (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour).

Pour into the pan and bake at 175 C for about 30 minutes, until it starts to come away on the sides.  Remove and let cool until you can remove it from the pan.  Then flip it and let it cool completely or serve still lightly warm.

*My mix was: 1 cup millet flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 3/4 cup rice flour (mix-red, white), 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts, 1/4 cup corn flour


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