I’m saving the rest of the candied kumquats and infused simple syrup for an undetermined culinary adventure later this week. I will keep you posted. Operation Citrus was a success!
Orange and Almond Spongecake
Recipe adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking
There are not many ways to improve on this recipe, so I kept any changes to a minimum. I used AP flour since I didn’t have any cake flour in my pantry, and the results were fine, although cake flour would have produced a more tender crumb. I also added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt with the flour to balance the sweetness. Joe and I enjoyed a slice of cake after dinner, and it was equally as lovely the next day paired with a cup of tea.
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 orange, zested and juiced
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
candied kumquats and kumquat syrup
powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan, set aside. Beat the 2/3 cup sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl until mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add the grated orange rind, juice, and almond extract. Beat until mixture is light and foamy. Beat in the almonds, salt, and flour until just combined.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks have formed. Sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top, and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cooled, melted butter into the flour mixture until combined. Gradually fold in the egg whites, being careful not to overmix. Place batter into prepared pan and smooth out to the edges. Bake until cake is puffed, lightly browned, and a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack. Reverse cake so that it cools puffed-side up.
If you have candied the kumquats, now is a good time to brush about 1/4 cup of the syrup of the top of the cake. Lightly dust with powdered sugar, and decorate with kumquats. Well done!