Our life has been all stops and starts lately. Good things (really good things!) will happen and then a moment later there’s an avalanche of annoyances and frustrations. If I could make a blanket fort and wait out spring’s real arrival, I would, but there’s just so much to do. So, I’m starting with the little things. Trying to get right whatever I can. Mostly, this means cleaning and organizing. But also cooking. The cooking has been a good thing. Mostly.
The first time I made this cake, it just wasn’t quite right. It was homely and strangely austere. It made for a good breakfast, but wasn’t what I wanted it to be. The second time around, it’s still a little homely, but the flavor is spot on. Heaped with buttery caramelized kumquats and clementines, the topping is rather irresistible. Also noteworthy is the moist, zesty crumb. Appropriate for Easter brunch or as an easy dessert, there’s no time of day when this cake wouldn’t be perfect (trust me, I’ve researched this thoroughly). As we muddle through the tail end of winter weather, it’s appreciating the perfectly imperfect things that get will get us through. Chances are high that eventually it will really be spring. Until then, there’s cake.
Before we head into the recipe, I have a couple more items on the agenda. First, our Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway is live until midnight EST Friday night, so head over and get yourself entered to win! It’s super easy, I promise. Second, we are so excited to be included on the Babble.com list of 2013 Top 100 Mom Blogs! Thanks to all of you for being here with us each step of the way. You guys are really nice.
- for the kumquat clementine topping
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup kumquats and clementines, sliced and seeded as best you can
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons Prosecco (optional)
- for the cake
- 1/2 cup kumquat puree (about 3/4 of a cup whole)
- 1/4 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup milk, combined
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch spring form cake pan and set aside.
- To make the citrus topping, heat the butter over medium-low heat in a small skillet. Add the citrus slices, sugar, and sea salt. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a sticky caramel sauce has formed. Finish with a splash of Prosecco if using, and stir to incorporate. Keep over lowest heat while you prepare the batter.
- Meanwhile, de-stem, seed, and rough chop the kumquats reserved for the cake. Puree in a food processor, combining with the milk/yogurt mixture. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on low until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, and continue beating until well-combined and pale. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides as you go. Next add the sea salt, baking powder and soda, and then half the flour. Add half the kumquat/dairy mixture, then the remaining flour, and finally, the remaining liquid.
- Spoon into the prepared cake pan. Carefully arrange the citrus slices on top of the cake (steer clear of the edges if you can, since citrus along the edges tends to burn). There will be several tablespoons of liquid left in the skillet––keep it over low heat while the cake cooks.
- Set the cake on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
- Cool cake for 10 minutes, remove spring form ring, and drizzle with the reserved citrus/caramel liquid. Cool, slice, and serve.