Friday, 5 June 2009

Candied Kumquats and Financiers

I am so happy the weather has been good lately. Edinburgh is a much happier place to be when the sun is shining and the temperature is in double figures for once! It also means I got to take some photos in natural light instead of under an energy saving bulb with a wimpy built-in flash.

A few months ago, I bought a slice of cake in a cafe which appeared to be garnished with a tiny orange. A bit of research lead me to kumquats. This is not a particularly common fruit in Britain, and I don't remember ever seeing them in a supermarket. When I saw them the other week in the grocers, I figured I give them a go. (I also bought a pomegranate, but the less said about that the better. Yet another reason to always research what are the signs of ripeness in fruit rather than impulse buying.)

The kumquats sat in the salad drawer of the fridge for a few days. I didn't really know what to do with them. Then I saw this post by Cannelle et Vanille. I decided straight away that I would candy my kumquats. Once the kumquats and the syrup had cooled down, I tasted one. They were still a little too bitter, although I loved their sharp citrus flavour. I think I should have blanched them in boiling water rather than just simmering them. I'm way too impatient sometimes.

Candied Kumquats and Edinburgh sunshine

Aran had used her kumquats to garnish some financiers. I had a packet of 8 eggs. I also had some mini loaf tins from my visit to Kooks Unlimited in London. Can you see where this is going?

I made up my usual hazelnut financier batter, although this time I used 50g hazelnut and 50g almond. The next morning, I baked up a batch, garnishing some with the kumquats.

Financiers with Candied Kumquat

These had the crunchy crust of a good financier, and the buttery soft inside. While the plain ones were delicious, the ones with the kumquats were another thing entirely. The acidity cut through the cake, working as a foil to the butteryness. It seems like the only thing better than a financier is one with a big old citrus hit in the middle. To make it even sweeter, have it in the morning. Then you can feel better about the state of the economy - after all, you had a financier for breakfast!

(I think that possibly wins the lamest joke EVER prize.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Great idea candying them as they can be so tart. Very cute putting them in the financiers too! :)