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My Little Kumquat Cakes

From "Death by Chocolate Cakes: An Astonishing Array of Chocolate Enchantments" by Marcel Desaulniers
/ Source: TODAY


Ginger Macadamia Nut Cake

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces; plus 1 teaspoon (melted)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup whole raw unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted and finely chopped

Chocolate Kumquat Mousse

  • 1/2 pound small fresh kumquats, washed and dried
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted

Make the Ginger Macadamia Nut Cake
Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly coat the inside of a 10 1/2 X 1 1/2-inch nonstick biscuit/brownie pan with some of the 1 teaspoon of melted butter. Line the bottom of the pan (or wax paper), then lightly coat the paper with more melted butter. Set aside.

In a sifter combine 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking baking soda. Sift onto a large piece of parchment paper (or wax paper). Set aside.

Place 1/4 pound butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low speed for 1 minute; then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until soft. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl; then beat on medium for an additional 2 minutes until very soft. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat on 30 seconds to combine. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding half of the sifted dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sour cream and mix on medium to combine, about 10 seconds. Gradually add, the remaining dry ingredients while mixing on low until combined, about 20 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add 1/4 cup of the toasted macadamia nuts. (The remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts will be used to garnish the tops of the cakes.) Use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Transfer the cake batter to the prepared biscuit/brownie pan, spreading evenly the edges. Bake on the center rack in the preheated oven until the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 26 to 27 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the biscuit/brownie pan for 15 minutes at room temperature. Invert the cake onto a baking sheet. Carefully peel the paper away from the bottom of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until needed.

Prepare the Chocolate Kumquat Mousse Trim about 1/4 inch from each end of the kumquats. Cut each kumquat into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. (The 1/2 pound should yield about 1 1/2 cups sliced.) Pick out and discard the occasional seed from the kumquat slices. Set aside

Heat 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the sliced kumquats and stir to incorporate. Bring to a boil again; then adjust the heat to allow the mixture to cook at a slow boil for 12 minutes until the kumquat slices are tender and sweet. Strain the kumquats and discard the cooking syrup. Transfer the kumquat slices to a baking sheet or large plate and spread evenly. Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator to cool.

Reserve 6 kumquat slices to garnish the cakes. Finely chop the remaining kumquats with a cooks knife. Set aside while preparing the mousse.

Place 1 cup heavy cream and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whip. Whisk on medium-high for 2 minutes until firm, but not stiff, peaks form. Add about 3/4 cup of the whipped cream to the bowl of melted unsweetened chocolate, and use a rubber spatula to fold together until thoroughly combined. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream, and use a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined. Transfer 1/4 cup of chocolate mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Add the chopped kumquats to the remaining mousse, and use a spatula to fold them in together until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Refrigerate the mousse in the pastry bag and the Chocolate Kumquat Mousse for a few minutes while beginning the assembly of the cakes.

Assemble the Cakes Cut a 12 X 3 1/2-inch strip of parchment paper (or wax paper) crosswise into 6 equal pieces. Use the paper to line the insides of 6 sections of PVC pipe 2 1/2 inches high with a 3-inch opening. Place the paper-lined pipes on a baking sheet. (The paper should extend over the top of each pipe.)

Remove the Ginger Macadamia Nut Cake from the refrigerator and place in a clean, dry work surface. Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut the cake into six 3-inch circles. (The remaining cake “scraps” can be fed to your favorite pet. Can you hear me purring?) As if placing the cake circles into the pipe lined pipes (one for each pipe), gently pressing the cakes to the bottom. Spoon about 1/3 cup Chocolate Kumquat Mousse in the top of each cake portion, spreading evenly. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the chopped macadamia nits over the entire surface of the of the mousse on each cake. Pipe a chocolate mousse star onto the center of each cake, then top each star with a kumquat slice. Refrigerate the cakes in the pipes for 1 hour before serving.

To ServeRemove the cakes from the refrigerator. Slip the PVC pipe, up, up and away from outside of each cake. (Yes, the pipes really do slip right off.) Gently peel the parchment paper off each cake. Serve immediately.