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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tiny Lemon Tea Cakes

You won't have to feel very guilty for long when your dessert is but a bit of a bite like these Tiny Lemon Tea Cakes!

Tart-sized treats are a breeze to make, and are just the right size to pop into your mouth on the run. Little bits of crystallized ginger settle into the icing, making presentation all the sweeter.

Recipe courtesy of Sandra Palmer and Kiyomi Toda-Burke at Three Tarts Bakery and Boutique in New York City.

A mini-muffin pan is necessary for cakes of this small stature. They are usually molded with 24 little tart shapes per pan. Spray or butter the pans gently, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.

Makes two dozen tiny cakes.

Ingredients needed: (a total of 13)

1/2 cup flour, plus 2 additional Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (may I suggest Rumford brand, aluminum-free)
1 pinch of salt (a pinch is commonly a mere 1/16 of a teaspoon, but your fingers will work fine)
1/2 teaspoon ground, dried ginger

1/2 cup sugar, plus an additional 2 Tablespoons of sugar
7 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

2 large eggs, plus the yolk of a third egg
3 Tablespoons of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract - Madagascar vanilla is best
(not Mexican vanilla, which is more compatible with chocolate)

* Also see below for icing ingredients

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt and ginger. Whisk, set aside.
In another bowl on a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter together at medium speed for about a minute. Add the whole eggs and one egg yolk. Once combined, reduce the mixer speed to slow, and add spoons full of the dry ingredients. Mix in the buttermilk and vanilla.

Add one Tablespoon of batter to each muffin cup, and bake approximately 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool, remove from pan, and cool completely before icing.

* For the frosting / icing:

1 1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar / powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized / candied ginger
1 Tablespoon water (add as needed, you may need the entire Tablespoon)

In a small bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon of water. Mix well. Dip the tops of the cakes into the glaze, twist, allow excess glaze to drip off, and set them on a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Dab a few bits of candied ginger on top of the glazed cakes. Allow to dry, then set them out for company. Put on a pot of tea, and call a friend!

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