Citrus fruit are the perfect antidote to winter: they fill the kitchen with a refreshing aroma and add colour to any dish. Orange is the star of these mini carrot cakes, in which they are thinly sliced and macerated in a spicy lemon syrup and served with mascarpone cream.
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour six 3/4 cup (180 ml) ramekins. Set aside on a baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, oil and zests with an electric mixer until smooth. With the electric mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the orange juice. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the carrots and nuts. Divide the batter among the ramekins.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean. Let cool. Unmould and let cool completely on a wire rack.
In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Cut the cakes in half horizontally. Spread half of the cream over the cake bottoms and close with the tops. Garnish the cakes with the remaining cream. Top with the macerated orange slices.
The mini cakes will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator.