Friday, November 11, 2011

Lavender and honey teacakes.

I feel good about the fact that most days, I can open a cookbook, choose a recipe and make something from scratch for dinner because I have everything on hand thanks to a well stocked and ever growing pantry.
We always have a good supply of butter, milk and yogurt. Most days, you can find sour cream in our fridge. My jars of different kinds of flour and grains have reached a point where I shouldn't be allowed to buy any new items anymore until I've used up the ones already there.

I always make sure that we have honey in the house (extra, as you might say as my husband has at least three different types open at all times) that can be used in baking. And I spent a rather unhealthy amount of time in front of the shelf for spices in the supermarket.
There is a store for household items that I visit quite frequently to pick up yet another jar for my grain collection or to ponder which sized baking pan is missing in my repertoire. I have a big kitchen by all standards and I am reaching my capacity limits.

Honey and lavender teacakes.

There is an upside to all of this hoarding, of course.
Last week I flipped through the ottolenghi cookbook in search for inspiration for my stepsons upcoming birthday party. I needed small things that easily double for a fair amount of adults and children.
I landed on a recipe for teacakes which I had bookmarked since I bought the book. That my mother in law had handed me silicone mini kugelhupf pans was just the icing on the cake.

To finally cut to the chase: I made some teacakes, on a whim, with silicone molds I never wanted to have. And they were amazing. Sweet and tender, a little crisp around the edges and very delicately spiced. The honey is clearly there while the lavender takes a backseat without drowning in the other flavors.

Despite my best efforts to fill the shelves, I needed to leave my kitchen for one thing though. Armed with scissors I walked into the garden and cut off a couple of lavender blossoms. That's the only thing I didn't have on hand.
Because I used fresh lavender I assumed the flavor would be stronger so I used a little less. But lavender is very delicate and next time I'd use more, even more than the recipe suggests.

The recipe calls for a simple glaze of lemon juice, honey and icing sugar which I didn't make simply because I liked the cakes plain dusted with only a little bit of icing sugar and because I just don't care about royal icing.

Lavender and Honey teacakes
adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

225 grams (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
115 grams sugar
115 grams honey (MM: Lavender honey is recommended but plain honey will do.)
3 eggs
245 grams flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (MM: I reduced this amount to 1/4 tsp because I didn't want the cinnamon to overpower the lavender.)
1/2 tsp chopped dried lavender
110 ml sour cream

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°).
Brush small cooled bundt or kugelhupf tins with melted butter and return them to the fridge till you are ready to use them. (MM: A step you might want to follow when using regular tins, but because I used those silicone ones I omitted the extra butter.)

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar with the honey until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until each addition has been fully incorporated.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and lavender in another bowl. Gently fold the flour mixture into the creamed mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream.

Pipe or spoon the batter into the tins, filling them to about three quarters. Level out the batter and clean the  edges of the tins if necessary. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove them from the oven and let cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

Honey and lavender teacakes.

According to the recipe: Makes six.
I made around 26 teacakes with means my pans are unbelievably small or there is a fault with the recipe.
Storage: These cakes are best eaten the day they were made. Although they keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature, they become dense and lose their crisp edges.

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