These little travel cakes are just the sweetest things and perfect for your Summer (or Winter) picnics. Aside from the strong almond flavour, the elderflower liquor gives them a nice fruity and almost floral taste, not to be outdone by a nicely tart dash of lime.
St Germain Elderflower Liquor is not as readily available as most spirits and you can understand why – it is made from fragile elderflower blossoms that are hand picked in the French Alps, carefully placed into sacks and taken to market by bicycle. A painstakingly slow and careful process that provides the quantity required for each years batch of liquor. The blossoms lose their fragrance and flavour after a couple of days so the process has to be well orchestrated for the best results.
It’s the beautiful fruity tones of the elderflower liquor that give these cakes that ‘je ne sais quoi’ (a certain something). They are that perfect ‘small and sweet something’ you can finish your meal off with - being delightfully different and that much more enticing.
283 grams/10 ounces almond paste, broken into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
3 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon St-Germain or other elderflower liqueur
2 cups icing (powdered/confectioners’) sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons St-Germain or other elderflower liqueur
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus zest strips for decorating
Preheat the oven to 350° and spray 2 mini-muffin pans with vegetable oil spray.
In a food processor, pulse the almond paste several times until broken into small pieces; don’t overprocess or the paste will become oily. Add the eggs and pulse until smooth. Add the cornstarch and salt and pulse until smooth. Add the butter and St-Germain and pulse until incorporated.
Scrape the batter into a small pitcher and pour it into the muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Bake for about 22 minutes, until the cakes are golden, puffed and firm to the touch. Transfer the pans to a rack and cool for 20 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely.
In a bowl, mix the icing sugar, cream, St-Germain and lime juice. Using a handheld mixer, beat at low speed until smooth. Beat in the 1/2 teaspoon of grated lime zest. Spoon the icing over the cakes, allowing it to drip down the sides. Garnish with lime zest before serving.
Notes: Elderflower liquor is also great in cocktails.
Source: William Werner via Food & Wine Magazine
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.