Calamansi & Ginger Crumb Cake

It had been a while since the last calamansi-themed baking experiment, so we made up for it this last weekend with this seriously citrus-y and spicy crumb cake. It takes a bit of work to make the different elements and put them together (not to mention all of the squeezing we had to do). It takes some time, but it’s an easy cake to make. It’s also very straightforward, but very strong in flavor.

Yogurt makes for a moist crumb. The finely shredded whole calamansi peels make the cake heavily fragrant and flavored with citrus. Ginger and white pepper add brightness and a bit of heat. It’s a cake best had for breakfast or afternoon snack (and best with a cup of coffee).

If you like it sweeter, the white chocolate whipped cream is a great companion to the swirls of calamansi-ginger curd and the crunchy topping.

But if you’re like us, and you like your citrus desserts to send your lips puckering, have your slice/s with even more dollops of your calamansi-filled curd (like this!).

Baking companions for the last weekend. While Ms. Maida is ever reliable (and the genius behind the addition of white pepper), we must give extra thanks to this issue of Southern Living for this new way of making citrus curd. The results were silky, rich and smooth. This might be how we shall do it every time.

For the calamansi-ginger curd:
freshly squeezed calamansi juice, 1 cup
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 stick/1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs

For the crumb topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup yogurt
15 calamansi peels, pithed and seeded
2 tbsp calamansi juice
3/4 cup calamansi-ginger curd

For white chocolate whipped cream:
1oz/28.34g white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
t tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Make your curd. Combine calamansi juice and grated ginger. Stir well and set aside. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer at medium speed until well-blended.

Add eggs one at a time. Beat just until well-blended after each addition. Gradually add juice mixture to the butter mixture. Beat at low speed until just blended. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave at high for 5 minutes, stirring after 1-minute intervals. Microwave another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring at 30-second intervals, until the mixture has thickened. It should be able to coat a spoon.

Place in an air-tight container and chill for at least an hour. It may be stored for up to two weeks.

Make your crumb topping. Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut cold butter into flour mixture with fork until crumbly. Add sliced almonds. Combine well. Cover and chill until ready for use.

Make your cake. Preheat oven to 176°C/350°F. Butter and flour a springform pan or a 9×2 inch cake pan.

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Add 1 1/4 cup sugar reserve 1/4 cup sugar). Beat for 3 minutes or until light-colored and fluffy. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs yolks one at a time. Beat until well-combined.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Combine yogurt, calamansi juice and peels in a blender. Blend well or until peels are finely shredded. Add flour mixture and yogurt mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat egg whites at high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Dollop with curd. Gently swirl with a knife. Sprinkle crumb topping over batter.

Bake at 176°C/350°F for 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack for an hour.

Make the white chocolate whipped cream. Place white chocolate in a small microwave-safe cup. Microwave at medium for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

In a chilled bowl, beat the cream with the vanilla on medium speed. Add the powdered sugar. Beat just until soft mounds begin to form.

Stir a few tablespoons of the cream into the white chocolate to lighten it. Beat the white chocolate mixture into the whipped cream on low speed. Reduce to low speed and beat the white chocolate into the whipped cream. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Have a great big slice. Creamy or curd-y, whichever way you like.

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