Hello from our snow cave. I stayed home from work today since the forecast called for 8-10" of snow today and I'd say that's about what we got. Unfortunately it fell on top of an existing layer of ice we have on our driveway. Hopefully the icemelt that Joe put down today will help out. I did actually get some work done since I brought my work laptop home, so that was nice. It would have been a good day to bake something, but then I would have just eaten all of it, so I though it would be best not to.
However,a couple of weekends ago I did give in to my baking impulse and made these little tea cakes. I think the main reason this recipe won was that I had a few vanilla beans on my hands. Also, I had these little tart pans that Mom gave me that had never been used. Those two reasons were good enough for me! :)
This recipe is from a cook book called Sprinkle Bakes which is written by a lady who has a blog by the same name. If you're ever looking for a super delicious and creative dessert, be sure to check out her blog! Now I realize that most of you probably don't have these little tart pans and have no need for "tea cakes" but Joe and I also don't drink much tea and we still managed to eat all of these in 2 days. Also, if you do want to make them, you can always use a mini muffin pan. These little cakes aren't overly sweet and they're great for snacking :) Here's the recipe!
Heart Tea Cakes
From: Sprinkle Bakes
1/4 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
1 stick butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg whites; lightly whisked
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup seedless jelly; a dark color such as raspberry or blackberry works best
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Place the almond flour spread out in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 12 mini tart molds on a baking sheet or line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Line a mesh sieve with cheese cloth or a coffee filter, and place over a small bowl. Once the butter has melted, allow it to come to a boil. Swirl the pan occasionally; do not stir. As the butter boils, you will notice foam on the butter's surface.
5. Continue to cook until the butter becomes clear and the milk solids have dropped to the bottom of the pan; cook until the butter solids turn light golden brown and the butter is nutty and fragrant.
6. Remove from the heat and immediately pour through the mesh sieve into the bowl.
7. Let cool to room temperature. Measure 1/3 cup of the browned butter and reserve. Use the remaining butter to grease the mini tart molds, using a pastry brush.
8. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, powdered sugar and salt.
9. Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture, and fold in the egg whites, seeds from the vanilla bean, and reserved 1/3 cup of browned butter. I actually whisked the mixture since I could see that the egg whites weren't mixed in. That's why I added in the ingredient list that you should whisk the egg whites up a little before hand.
10. Fill each mold. I did this by pouring the batter into a ziploc bag and snipping the corner off. It made it really simple.
11. In a small bowl, heat the jelly in the microwave at full power for 30 seconds. Heat just enough to loosen it, but not so it becomes completely liquid.
12. Place the melted jelly in a ziploc bag and snip a tiny corner off. Pipe a dime size dot of jelly on top of each unbaked tea cake.
13. Gently pull a skewer or toothpick through the batter and down the center of the jelly dot, creating a heart shape in the batter.
14. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cakes have become light brown on top and are springy to the touch.
15. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before un-molding.
I know that's a lot of steps, but I made these start to finish in probably 30 minutes. They were easy, I promise!
Hopefully tomorrow I'll return to work. Not that I really want to, but you know, it's probably for the best. Soon I'll share a recipe for what is quite possibly the most delicious king cake I've ever had. Until then I'll just be trying to stay warm. Have a good night!