Golden Kumquat cake? What a name huh? I only use it because during Chinese New Year, numerous fruits, flowers, decorations and provisions are made, bought and presented in the hopes of securing wealth and prosperity, vitality and vigour or good fortune in the year to come. Certain food is eaten just because it looks lucky, sounds or rhymes with auspicious words or even just the right colour! The Lunar New Year is a time for new beginnings and all customs and rituals leading up to and during the festive period are performed in the hopes of acquiring or increasing luck and fortune, maintaining or improving health and preserving general happiness in the home.
This cake or at least the fruit in it probably falls into all 3 of the above categories. Let’s start with the first and third. Kumquats are small, round and orangey yellow, so they are said to look like gold, that obviously symbolises wealth and fortune. To add to this, the Cantonese words for kumquat are ‘gum gut – ‘gum’ sounds like gold and gut, Cantonese for citrus, sounds like ‘dai gut’, good fortune. Seeing a pattern here?
I make this cake every CNY. I guess it’s just a tradition in our house. It’s adapted (barely) from Nigella’s famous Clementine cake. I don’t always use kumquats; tangerines or mandarins are fine, and apparently regular oranges or lemons will also do the trick. This cake however is more than just auspicious, its darn right easy, once you’ve sorted out the orange pulp, and that’s not hard just time consuming. No effort necessary. As an added bonus its flourless so gluten free AND fatless – oh and did I mention DELICIOUS? Its moist and damp in the way those lemon drizzle cakes are when drenched in syrup but certainly not soggy. Basically it’s a winner, a no fail cake, rich and deliciously orangey, with a great texture from the almonds though never overpoweringly almondy. So what are you waiting for? Saddle up for the Year of the Horse and Good Luck – not that you’ll need it!
Golden Kumquat CakeThis recipe makes one 9” round cake
- 375 grams kumquats or any other citrus fruit
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cups (225g) caster sugar
- 2 1/3 cups (250g) ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free)
At least 3 hours before – kumquat puree
Put the kumquats in a pan full of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours.
Drain and cool. Break Kumquats in half and remove the pips. Place in food processor and puree.
- Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F – Prepare a 9″ inch round baking pan w/ grease proof paper.
- Beat the eggs in the stand mixture. Slowly add the sugar and continue the beat.
- Add the ground almonds and baking powder and mix.
- Finally add the kumquat puree and beat on low speed until combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for approx. 60 minutes.
- After about 35/40 minutes, you will need to cover cake with foil to stop from browning too much. (I left mine this time too long thats why its quite dark!)
- Cake should be well risen and a cake tester should come out clean.
- Cool in the pan completely and then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack.