Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kumquat Cakes in glass jars

There are so many fruits available these days and you see them all the time, but you actually have never tried them. This was the case for me with kumquats, those little mini-orange looking fruits. They are in season now, so it was the perfect opportunity to try them.

I decided to make little cakes. It's basically a muffin dough, which are perfect to bake them in glass jars. This is something I discovered last year. Baking cakes in glass jars. Instead of in a baking pan, you can bake your cakes in heatproof glass jars / jam glasses.  Then after you bake them you immediately seal them. Through the heat they will be vacuum sealed. I use "Weck" jars, which come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes. They close with a rubber ring and metal clamps. I also use them for jams or the smaller ones as dessert glasses.

Cakes in a glass jar make perfect little gifts. You can dress up the jar with a nice ribbon and also include the recipe. They are also great to bring along for a picnic. They will be good for about 2-3 weeks if they are kept in a cool place. In the summer I often bake a whole bunch of them, so I can bring them along to the beach or to a BBQ.

Kumquat Cakes

makes about 12 cupcakes or 5-6 jam-glass cakes

400g kumquats
100ml orange juice
150g granulated sugar
about 8-10 cardamom seeds

250g butter, softened
100g marzipan, coarsely grated
1 package vanilla sugar (20g)
4 eggs
500g all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder

Line your muffin pan with paper liners or butter your heatproof jam glasses. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180° Celsius).

Wash the kumquats under hot water and pat dry. Half the fruits and remove the seeds. Cook the kumquats over medium heat together with the orange juice, sugar and cardamom and let them simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Let cool, then strain the kumquats through a sieve and reserve the syrup.

For the dough, mix together butter and vanilla sugar, then add the grated marzipan and kumquat syrup until creamy. While mixing add the eggs one at a time. Mix 1 tablespoon of  flour with the kumquat halves. Add the remaining flour and baking powder to the dough. Fold in the kumquat halves at the end.

Fill the dough in the prepared muffin pan or glass jars to about ¾ full. Put in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. If you want to seal the glass jars do so right after you get them out of the oven. They have to be very hot to build a vacuum. The cakes will last in the glass jar for about 2-3 weeks.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit! 
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