Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Little Mouthfuls of Gorgeousness

For the past few months I have been looking for recipes that I remember eating when I was a kid.  You know, the stuff that you eat today that reminds you of what 'Grandma used to make'.  The things that make you giddy and smile to remember the simpler times, when your mouth wasn't quite big enough to cram in a whole piece of cake, or your mother was constantly dabbing away at the cream all over your fingers and face. 

Baking has had a resurgence in popularity lately, and things to me seem a little too primped and technical.  I am looking for the good old fashioned things, sponge cakes with jam and cream, pies with home made pastry and sticky gooey caramel fillings (Even if I can never bring myself to try boiling a can of condensed milk to make caramel - kids don't try this at home).  All the good stuff that we remember eating as kids, is the stuff I am yearning for today. 

As you know I am quite the fan of little individual baked treats.  Even though I love a grand layered cake at the best of times, these are easy and fun to bake, look sweet, petite and best of all, when it comes to serving you don't have to have the 'who's going to cut the cake' argument.

Jelly cakes have become my latest little love.  I used to eat these as a kid and have had a craving for them in the past few weeks.  They are these delightful little patty cakes, filled with cream and rolled in semi-set jelly and coconut.  They look so dainty and pretty.  Making them again brings back so many fond memories.

I love them piled high on a pretty plate and shared among friends.

Perfect with a lovely hot cup of tea. 

Jelly Cakes - Recipe adapted from

60g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
85g packet of Port Wine jelly crystals
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
3 cups dessicated coconut
1/2 cup thickened cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 12 x 2 tablespoon capacity patty pan. (Oil spray is perfect for greasing these pans) Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, a little at a time, beating until well combined.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Gently fold in half the flour and half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.

Spoon about 1 tsp of the mixture into patty pan. (You may need more depending on the size of your patty pans - if you use muffin pans, use a tablespoon of mixture) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool cakes on a wire rack.

Cut each cake in half horizontally. Sandwich halves back together using 1 teaspoon of cream.  Place in refrigerator for 10-20 mins.  (I find this step really helps the cream to adhere the cake halves together and makes them easier to roll in jelly and coconut.  You could also freeze the cakes at this stage if you wish and jelly/coconut later).

Stir jelly and boiling water together in a bowl until crystals are dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold and slightly thick.

Place coconut into a large bowl.   Roll cakes, 1 cake at a time, into jelly. Gently shake off  excess jelly. Toss cakes in coconut until well coated. Place onto a lined tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.

These cakes freeze well.  Just pull out of the freezer and place on a plate for 20-30 mins to reach room temperature.  Great for when you have company coming and want to have a little special something that looks like you have slaved all morning away on!

Feel free to experiment with different jelly flavours.  I especially like Port Wine because it gives the cakes a lovely pink hue.

Until next time...

Kitty xx

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