This is for you February birthday boys & girls! Have a little sweet and be merry =)
Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. - Jack Benny
Do you recall the kumquats that I brought back from my trip to New York back in January?! Its unique flavor lends itself as a pleasant addition to desserts! For those of you who have no idea what Kumquat is; it is a member of the citrus family. It has a tangy, slightly bitter distinctive flavor, and very common in South East Asia. They are oval in shape, orange in color, with a thick sweet peel and a tart pulp. It can be eaten fresh or preserved. Since they hardly come by at my local markets (except around Chinese New Year) so when I see them at Dean & Deluca in NY, I got myself a few pounds!
I came across a couple kumquat recipes that I am tempted to try. I have been dying to try out the unusual recipes from Hidemi Sugino's The Dessert Book (Japanese/English) since I have read all about this pâtissier thru Keiko of Nordljus, whom inspired me to food blogging with her gorgeous creations! I had been looking for a copy of Sugino’s book for like ages! You can imagine that I didn’t hesitate for a second when I found out that I can order his book thru this place. His books is very interesting and his recipes employ many unusual combos and yet so easy to follow (take this kumquat pound cake recipe for example). People who have no to little experience with pastry will have no difficulties whipping up what is in this book. I highly recommend it to everyone!
These delicate little cakes are so moist and flavorful; made of an almond-based batter folded together with chopped kumquat compote, resulting in a wonderful burst of citrus flavor! Just a bite and I’m sure it will grace my tea party menu from now on. Instead of using a pound cake pan, I used the new financier moulds that I bought a while back from here, thought it looks lovelier. It took me some time to find the almond flour (grounded blanch almonds) but I located it here and found that it is not cheap! Oh, this hobby of mine >.< Since I made more than enough kumquat compote for these cakes, I also served the kumquat compote with jasmine panna cotta. Surprisingly, these two goes really well with each other. I will post it next time. I am in search for more interesting kumquat recipes. If you have any to share, would you be kind enough to drop me a few words =)
Lastly, Chinese New Year is around the corner so I wish everyone peace and prosperity in the coming year. Gong Xi Fa Cai~
Make 48 halved kumquats
400g (about 24) kumquats
2 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cup water
Wash and pat dry kumquats. Remove calyces, cut them in half horizontally then pit with a fork. Bring sugar and water to boil, add the kumquats. Cover with a paper towel (directly on kumquats) and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and let sit over night at room temperature. Trash the paper towel and remove the kumquats and transfer to a bowl. Reheat the poaching syrup to a boil then remove from heat. Add the kumquats back into the syrup and let sit overnight at room temperature. Place the compote (discard the syrup) in an airtight container and keep refrigerated; good up to a week.
Kumquat Pound Cakes
Adopted from Hidemi Sugino’s The Dessert Book
Make 12 financier moulds (2x4)
50g kumquat compote
50g unsalted butter
75g confectioners’ sugar
50g almond flour
35g all-purpose flour
1/5 tsp baking powder
2 small whole eggs
24 halves of kumquat
Some diced almonds (optional)
Mandarin brandy for blushing
For the garnish: kumquats and chopped pistachios
Shift the almond flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder together. Set aside. Using a food processor, chop the kumquat coarsely; transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. In a food processor, process the sugar and butter until just mix, 7-8 seconds. Gradually add the eggs then the flour mix, pulsing until just incorporated, after each addition. Do not over mix or the batter will become too soft. Add the batter to the kumquat compote, and fold until incorporated.
Pour batter into a pastry bag without a tip, and pipe into the buttered moulds. Lightly tap the moulds then arrange 2 pieces of kumquat halves on top. Sprinkle some diced almond on top if using. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes at 170 C/340 F. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool for 5 minutes then remove from moulds. Let cool completely. Brush with brandy then either dust with sugar or garnish with kumquat compote and chopped pistachios.
適量 杏仁碎 (可以不加)