When we stumbled onto that book at our local book shop, it was love at first sight. SWEETTABLESCAPES is always looking for inspiration and creative recipes for delicious AND beautiful-looking desserts. SPRINKLEBAKES by Heather Baird fits the bill.
It is filled with great recipes, advice, tips and photography.
In need of some miniature goodies for a dinner party, we tackled the “Heart Tea Cakes” on page 116 and fell in love. They are so cute and so delicious but mostly so small that you won’t feel guilty one bit if you have several!!
Here are the steps to this great little dessert:
1/2 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 egg whites
Seeds of one vanilla bean
1/4 cup seedless jelly; a dark color such a s blackberry or raspberry works best.
(if you have a set of petit-four molds, this is your chance to use it; if not, just use mini- muffin pans)
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Spread out the almond flour in an even layer on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. Increase oven temperature to 400 F. Place mini-tart molds on a baking sheet or line mini-muffin tin with paper liners.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Line a mesh sieve with cheesecloth 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 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 heat and immediately pour through the mesh sieve into the bowl.
7. Let cool to room temperature. Measure out 1/3 cup of the browned butter and reserve.
Use the remaining butter to grease the molds with a pastry brush.
8. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, confectioner’s sugar and salt.9. Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture and fold in the egg whites, seeds from vanilla bean and reserved 1/3 cup browned butter.
10. Fill each mold.
11. In a small bowl, heat the jelly in the microwave at full power in 30-second intervals. Heat the jelly just enough to loosen it, so that it still has some body when stirred and it is not completely liquid.
12. Place melted jelly in a disposable piping bag (or zip-top sandwich bag) and snip off the tip.
13. Pipe 1 dime-size dot of jelly on top of each unbaked teacake.
14. Gently pull the pointed tip of a skewer or toothpick through the batter and down the center of the jelly dot, creating a heart shape in the batter.
15. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cakes have become light brown on top and are springy to the touch.
16. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire rack before unmolding.
If you want more of Heather’s ideas, visit her website!