Kumquat is more popular in China and Taiwan than where I live now in Australia. Hailing from Malaysia, I am not entirely unfamiliar with it because Malaysians see kumquat everywhere during Chinese New Year. Think of the kumquat tree as a Chinese Christmas tree.
That is not always the case as mandarin oranges are also popular during Chinese New Year, but I think kumquat takes the prize when the Chinese really want to show-off during this auspicious festival. The very name gives away it’s much coveted festive role taken from Cantonese gām-gwāt 金橘, meaning golden orange.
So while my kumquat tree at Stonehouse Farm keeps producing extensively, I realize I need to get more acquainted with it to come up with healthy and delicious meals such as this kumquat chia seed cake.
I found the standard kumquat jam that is ever popular here in Australia the most popular way to consume it in Australia. The tartness of kumquat makes it challenging for most people on how to be more creative with it, especially with a fruit which has a rind that is sweeter than the flesh.
I candied a lot of my kumquat. There are ample recipes online on how to candy but personally I think the French do it best.
Once you have candied kumquat and stored in a jar, you can use it multiple ways. Turning them into candied kumquat is also a great way to preserve them excess kumquat from our tree. In this post I show how I turned a traditional lemon cake recipe into a kumquat chia seed cake. I have used milk kefir, but you may use buttermilk or yoghurt. I encourage you to use kefir though because milk kefir will ferment the flour in the same manner sourdough starter does.
Kefir is made by putting kefir grains into milk and fermenting it. As I make all my cakes by grinding organic wheat grains and using freshly ground flour in my baking, I make sure they are always fermented either with sourdough starter or kefir so that all the nutrition in the grains are more easily absorbed by the body. If you would like to purchase kefir grains or sourdough starter, send me an email at email@example.com.
Kumquat Chia Seed Cake
155 gm milk kefir
100 gm coconut oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp kumquat syrup (this is the excess liquid left behind after you glaze your kumquat. Don’t throw this away. Save it in a bottle, separate from the bottle with the candied kumquat)
Mix kefir with flour and leave aside. Beat coconut oil and honey and eggs one by one and then add the mixture of flour and kefir. Leave for at least four hours so the kefir will ferment the flour. Just before baking add 3 tbsp of the kumquat syrup and chia seeds and baking powder. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.
When finished baking, pour ¼ cup of kumquat syrup on top of the cake while it’s still warm and then decorate with the candied kumquat. If you are concerned about sugar intake, leave out the syrup and decorate only with the kumquat. The juice from the wet candied kumquat will penetrate the cake, although not as saturated as when you pour the syrup.
TIP: Regardless of the recipe you follow to make candied kumquat you will be left with an excess of kumquat syrup (the sugary water in which the kumquats have been heated). Don’t throw this away. Save the syrup and use it in multiple ways such as in this recipe. You can also use the syrup to make salad dressing
NOTE: Check out more photos at our Instagram
Candied kumquats used in a kumquat aloe vera water kefir juice
Kumquat Kefir Ice cream