I’ve been dreaming of doing something with these crazy little kumquats I keep buying. I find them crazy because they look like mini tangerines. You take a bite and it’s immediately bitter. You take another bite and it’s gorgeous sweetness. Crazy, I tell you!
So there they were...these splendid little orange gems waiting in my fridge and I thought of these cupcakes. I’m lying! I was actually going to make lime-ricotta cupcakes. I burned the limes. Well, not burned to a crisp burn. But they were simmering nicely in the sugar syrup. Every thing was going smoothly. I stopped to make an espresso for me and Fabrizio. I went back to the pan and they were no longer green; alas, a dark and gloomy shade of brown. And it smelled awful.
This led to the moment of what I discovered I could finally do with these darling kumquats. I carefully watched them simmering. I didn’t take an espresso break. In twenty minutes I had the perfect result: sweet and ready for my cupcakes!
I think you might expect me to say that these cupcakes were moist. Yes, they were moist and the right texture. The sugar is not overwhelming. The drizzle is so sweet that the cupcake couldn’t be any sweeter (in my opinion). We brought these to our neighbors for a family dinner this week. They were loved by all!
I am not the least bit Irish. I was going to have a green cupcake today. Instead I am saluting Italy’s 150th birthday with a cupcake made with ricotta! Forza ltalia!
We did happen upon the Irish Fest this past Sunday. There was lots of good Irish food!
My favorite moment was bumping into the sisters. They were buying fish and chips. Sister Alice on the left thought it was better to have their fish split in half for fear of showing up in the newspaper the next day eating the full size fish. She was cute!
Then we walked down the main street. The kids couldn’t resist swinging and goofing off with daddy. Daddy is good to goof off with. I’m more serious most of the time. I love watching them laugh.
I’ve been in a funk. I’m trying so hard to keep my head up and stay positive. I met the oncologist and he wants to do one more biopsy before my surgery. I’m supposed to be happy that he is being so thorough. Instead of feeling reassured I feel even more scared than before. How will I stay calm until the day I do these surgeries? Today the nurse finally called to schedule. I was driving around in a cloud of sadness thinking again about every thing. Will I really be ok? Will the cancer only be in that one area? Or will this new biopsy give me bad news.
I arrived at my driveway and saw a box leaning against my door. I thought, “Oh yes! More salami from my mother-in-law!” Instead it was this! Sugar cookies made with love and messages from my friend Roxana .I plan to keep on dreaming, baking, fighting. I plan on praying and laughing til my stomach hurts. Thank you, Roxana.
Kumquat Ricotta Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 ricotta ricotta
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 small orange, zested and juiced
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt
a few drops of almond essence
1 cup confectioner's sugar
sugar syrup from the kumquats
1 lemon, juiced
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Slice the kumquats into 1/4 inch thin slices and add to pan on medium-low heat with 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. While the kumquats are simmering in the sugar syrup, prepare the cupcake batter.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and dash of salt.
In another small bowl, combine the ricotta, orange zest, and lemon zest.
Mix the ricotta and the zests together and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar, adding the eggs in one at a time until combined.
Beat in the melted butter.
On medium-low speed, beat in the ricotta, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla extract.
On medium-low speed, beat in the sifted flour in small portions until the dough is nicely combined stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Make sure all the flour is combined and the dough is smooth.
Pour the dough into 12 muffin tins lined with paper cases (they should be filled at 3/4 of their height), and bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes in the oven until golden. Allow to cool on a rack
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the sugar syrup from when you simmered the kumquats.
Add the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice and mix will. If the glaze is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar until you get a dense consistency.
Spoon the glaze over the cupcakes. Add a kumquat or a few to the top and enjoy the sweetness!
So here’s a cupcake that has a little bit of Italy and a little bit of Florida sunshine. The candied kumquats are incredible! I almost could eat them all and even forget about the cupcakes. Almost!
Thank you for being so supportive and liking my sweets and my stories! I am always filled with joy when I read your kind comments. You all seriously rock!
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