I’m not much of a sweet tooth. So when I see recipes of cakes and muffins that pile chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, I think “boy that looks pretty” and then I gag a little.
So for me the perfect baking session will consist of making something tart, that is balanced with just a bit of sweetness. This is why I tend to bake with fruit a lot (see previous posts).
I love that fruit is full of natural sweetness, and then with winter fruits like those in the citrus family, you get the tartness as well. Enter from stage right, the little citrus fruit that packs a big punch: kumquats.
I swapped some of my chook eggs and fresh herbs for some kumquats at last months produce swap, and fancied making some muffins to take to work the next day. I’d never made (or eaten!) kumquat muffins but I figured I could make it work.
Now if you bite into a kumquat you’ll notice it’s the opposite to most citrus fruit: the skin is sweet and the flesh and juice is SO SOUR. Like, sour warheads sour (remember those from your childhood?).
So before they went into my standard muffin mixture I made a little kumquat compote (or jam) out of them first. And the little seeds in kumquats provide for natural pectin (jam setting agent) so leave them in and you’ll get a jammy like consistency which is nice for plopping into muffins.
KUMQUAT AND WHITE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
Compote* start the compote the day before so it has time to set a bit and cool down in the fridge
600g kumquats, skin on and sliced
1 cup white, fine sugar
Juice of one lemon
2 cups self raising flour
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil (or any other flavor neutral oil)
To make the compote, place all of your ingredients into a heavy based saucepan and bring to a simmering point. Keeping an eye on your mixture, keep stiring until kumquats have broken down a little and you have a thick consistency. Takes roughly 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. I usually make this the day before and keep it in the fridge until I need it. This mixture also goes great with yoghurt, on porridge, anything really!
To make the muffins, grease a medium size muffin tin and set aside. Place dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add egg, buttermilk and oil and stir to combine. Add white chocolate, and finally, approximately half of your compote mixture from the day before. Stir well.
Fill muffin tins ¾ fill as they will rise. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celcius for 30 minutes. To test if ready, insert a fine skewer into centre of muffin. If it comes out clean, you’re ready to roll!
Tip out onto cooling racks and dust with icing sugar. Enjoy with a hot cuppa tea!