Like clockwork. Every time the weather warms up a little, I get an urge to bake.
Am I self-sabotaging before bikini season? Seeking heat inside to match the heat outside? Or maybe...it's all in my head.
But alas, here we are, daffodils a-peepin', cherry blossoms a-blossomin', and me. A bakin'.
These came about because D thought he liked kumquats even though I had never seen him eat a kumquat and he doesn't like very sour or bitter things. Nevermind! We bought a whole sackful at a raucous grocery store in Flushing.
Turns out D doesn't like kumquats... and so we were left with three pounds of kumquats and two stomachs that couldn't quite take them eaten whole.
So here we are, the kumquat carrot cake muffin. These are strictly more muffin than cake. I wanted to round out the assertiveness of the kumquat while still keeping its essential character -- ie: not throwing a lot of sugar at it. I used coconut and turbinado sugar for texture and a sweet musty complexity. But if sugar is what you want, do it! That's what jam is for.
2 cups kumquats, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup coconut sugar
¾ cup vegetable oil
⅛ cup white sugar
⅞ cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
½ cups walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut and seed the kumquats. Place in saucepan with butter and sugar. Simmer on medium until the kumquats are soft and pliant, about 6 minutes.
Using the paddle attachment of a mixer, blend the oil, sugars, and vanilla extract. Add eggs one by one until mixed. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. While the mixer is on medium, slowly add half the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the carrots, raisins, and walnuts. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
Grease a muffin pan. Spoon the kumquat mixture so it just coats the bottom. Add the carrot cake batter into each cup about 80% full. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce to 350. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Large muffin tins will bake in about 25-30 minutes. A small muffin tin will bake in about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the tin.
Eat in your preferred fashion. Here I had some with a dollop of Rhubarb and Meiwa Kumquat jam from Sqirl.