This is my favourite recipe from the wonderful new book ‘trEATs’ by April Carter. Containing over 50 recipes for delicious food gifts to make at home, trEATs is a great resource for Christmas and all year round. The book itself would make a perfect gift as well!
You can read my review of trEATs and an interview with April Carter by clicking here.
Almond & Earl Grey Teacup Cakes
Reprinted with permission
From trEATs by April Carter (£12.99, Hardie Grant)
These moist almond cakes are delicately flavoured with Earl Grey tea, which gives them a floral edge. Most teacups should be able to withstand oven temperatures but don’t risk your best china. These teacup cakes make brilliant gifts, especially if the recipient gets to keep the teacup too.
For the cakes
120 ml (4 fl oz) milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Earl Grey tea bags
120 g (4 oz) unsalted butter
225 g (8 oz/1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2 large (US – extra large) eggs
100 g (3½ oz/4⁄5 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
75 g (2½ oz) ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
For the topping
50 g (2 oz) flaked almonds
125 g (4 oz/1 cup) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, plus extra for dusting
4–5 teaspoons warm water
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F/gas mark 3). Butter 8 teacups or ramekins with 120 ml (4 fl oz) capacity, and place them on a baking tray.
Warm the milk, vanilla and tea bags in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the liquid is just bubbling. Set aside to cool.
Using a food processor with the beater attachment, beat the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating after each addition until they are well incorporated.
Into a clean bowl sift the flour, ground almonds and baking powder, and stir to combine.
Then, remove the tea bags from the cooled milk, making sure you squeeze them first to extract all of the flavour. Still using the food processor, beat in half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and then beat in half of the milk mixture. Repeat with the rest of each mixture and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to make sure that all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
Divide the mixture between the teacups or ramekins, filling each one until it is two-thirds full. Bake for 18–20 minutes, until the cakes are golden brown and springy to the touch.
Set them aside to cool.
Leave the oven on at 170°C (340°F/gas mark 3). While your teacup cakes are cooling, you can toast the almonds: place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
Next, it’s time to make the glaze, which is as easy as combining the icing sugar with the warm water in a bowl.
Once your teacup cakes are completely cooled, you can decorate them with the topping: drizzle the glaze over the top of each cake, then finish with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and a dusting of icing sugar. Store in a tin or an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reprinted with permission from trEATs by April Carter (£12.99, Hardie Grant) photography: Danielle Wood.
You can buy trEATs at all good bookstores & at http://www.amazon.co.uk/TrEATs-Delicious-food-gifts-make/dp/1742706347
Disclosure: I received a copy of trEATs for review purposes.