Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lemon Almond Cakes with Strawberry glaze

Such a good day today. While Missy E was at school, Prince D was able to kick his ball outside the house while I day dream away about nothing! Spring can make me a lazy person, perhaps the effect of the feel good factor seeing the snow melting, birds chirping and buds popping! Come summer, I will just lie in the sun and melt away my fats. What a life!

Anyways, I was in the urge to bake something or rather guilty for not doing anything. A dear friend offered to drive Missy E to a class birthday party in the afternoon and I thought these little cakes will be the perfect token of my appreciation.

I bought 2 mini cake pans during my trip to New Jersey last December and haven't got a chance to use them. My weakness is kitchen goods, be it a wacky gadget or beautiful dish plate, I can spend hours in a kitchen goods store besides the book stores. Every year when I start spring cleaning, I cannot believe how many things I have amassed over the year and sometimes I just forget I ever own something. Sometimes I think my small kitchen is a blessing or else I will go bankrupt trying to slot in and stuff the kitchen cupboards with hoards of things!

I always love lemon and lime. Their citrusy sourness and lingering sweet smell simply perks up every cooking. Poppy seed lemon cake is a very nice thing to eat but I thought perhaps adding nuts to the cake and taking the poppy seeds out but not completely will do better. This cake was very different from the cakes I normally eat. The outer part has a crust like texture, actually like biting into a biscuit and yet the inside is made up of soft cakey crumbs. I added toasted almond slices to the lemon cake batter and made up a strawberry glaze for the cakes. These mini cakes are just perfect for afternoon tea. The recipe yields one loaf pan size cake or around 26 mini cakes, similar to the smallest muffin cups size.


Ingredients :

1-1/3 cup Cake flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs (separated & room temperature)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup skim milk
2/3 cup of sliced almond
2 tbsp lemon juice
grated rind of 1 lemon


Glaze:
5 large strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp icing sugar



Method:

1)Beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Add in the egg yolks one at a time and beat till mixed evenly.
2)Add the lemon rind and juice next and continue to mix for 1 min.
3)Sift the flour and baking powder together. Alternating with the milk, add each into the lemon batter in 3 batches by folding in with spatula. Batter will be heavy.
4)Scatter the almond into the batter and stir.
5)Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the baking pans or mini muffin cups.
6)Beat egg whites till stiff peaks. Take 1 scoop of the egg white and fold into the cake batter. Notice that the batter will become lighter. Add in the rest of the egg white and fold in just to combine everything.
7)Spoon the cake batter into the baking pan or muffin tins, filling just 2/3 full.
8)Bake for 25 minutes, till slightly brown. Let cool on cake rack.
9)Puree the strawberries and add the lemon juice. Strain.
10)Dissolve the icing sugar with 1 tbsp water. Add into the strained strawberry juice.
11)Drizzle on top of the cakes and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Serves : 6 persons

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