Cumquats are one of those interesting fruits that people often don’t know what to do with. They are an extremely tart citrus so if you’re not a citrus lover like me, you just need to find ways of counteracting the tartness then you’ll fall in love with them.
A friend of mine (a total brandy lover) has a pretty spectacular way of preparing them. She pricks them full of holes and places them in a jar topped full with brandy so that the cumquat flavour infuses the brandy. She then leaves them for 6 months to infuse then slowly works through the brandy and eats the cumquats. Also, they will keep for ages preserved in brandy.
When I spied a bag of them at my favourite local food market (Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market) I knew I had to buy them instantly and later figure out what to make with them. After a couple of days in the fridge, inspiration started to strike… why not try chocolate dipped cumquats! If it works for oranges, then it will definitely work for cumquats. The sweet and bitter dark chocolate pairs beautifully with the tart citrus of the cumquats.
The best way to take away a little of that citrus zing is to soak them in a sugar suryp then bake them in the oven to dry out a little. What you end up with a like little dried citrus chips which can then be dipped, set and enjoyed. The bag of cumquats generated a healthy number of chocolate dipped cumquats, but a little delivery to work and in a day, they were all gone!
Chocolate Dipped Cumquats (Kumquats)
1 kg Cumquats
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
200g block dark chocolate
Prepare your cumquats by slicing them in half lengthways (If some cumquats are very large, cut them into slices lengthways) and place in a bowl.
In a small saucepan heat sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Pour the sugar syrup over the cumquats and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 150°.
Place cumquat halves on a lined baking tray in one even layer and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the cumquats have dried (but not coloured or burned). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Break dark chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave in 30 sec increments, stirring between each until the chocolate has melted.
Dip each cumquat piece into the dark chocolate halfway and place on baking paper until the chocolate has set.