July 24th, 2009
Calamansi Cloud Cupcake – buttery cupcake intensely flavored with real calamansi juice and zest. Iced with calamansi curd cloud cream and topped with a glittering calamansi gelee. Price available upon request.
a healthy dose of vitamin c
After successfully creating an orange cupcake, I was inspired to do a calamansi-flavored one. This cupcake has lots of freshly-squeezed calamansi juice and finely grated calamansi rind. This is a bit heavier than my orange cupcake but it is moist and has a melt-in-the-mouth quality.
I iced the cupcakes with calamansi curd cloud which is heavy cream whipped with calamansi curd. I made my favorite lemon curd recipe but subbed the juice with calamansi. While some do not add the zest to the strained curd, I always include it to intensify the tang. The tiny green specks also contrast nicely with the yellowness of the curd.
The topper is a calamansi gelee which I adapted from a recipe that used lime juice. I got the recipe from a candy book that our neighbor S._ gave me several Christmases ago. It is very easy to make although sometimes books do not really give detailed instructions and one must rely on visual and olfactory cues to know if you’re doing things right or bungling the job. Lesson I learned from this candy project: cook over low heat. I found out that even with a candy thermometer, the sugar syrup can burn if one is not careful.
This cupcake is definitely different. Those who are partial to sweet desserts might not like the tart kick. With loads of calamansi flavor, savoring this cupcake almost seems like taking your daily dose of vitamin C!
* * *
the little gadget that could
One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is the microplane zester. Its sharp teeth grate citrus rinds so fine that the zest is not a distraction to the palate. Originally a woodworking tool, it has found a permanent place in the kitchen after a homemaker in Ottawa used her husband’s new tool to zest an orange needed for her cake.
The microplane can also be used to grate spices and cheeses and even shave rock salt. I’m sure you are all familiar with beauty experts’ advice to look to the kitchen for some quick, effective fix for skin care emergencies (cucumber slices to soothe the eyes, a mixture of cocoa, honey and olive oil to create a color reviving mask for dark hair, and so on). Add the microplane to that list as there is a new range of models that can be used to exfoliate cracked, dry skin of the feet. Seriously. You can check it out here. Just remember, if you use one for zesting, don’t use it for any other job!