Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Trio of Mini-Desserts!

H & J had a housewarming party yesterday, and H turned to me to help with dessert.  She made a mess of savory hors d'oeuvres (including these bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese- I could eat a zillion of them).  We decided that the desserts should be appropriately mini as well. the result was, as P would say, bangin'

First up: mini almond cakes with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries.  I adapted a recipe I found from Gourmet, omitting the kirsch creme and switching out the fruit to accommodate our CSA share this week.  The recipe calls for you to make a big cake and cut circles out.  I thought that was wasteful, but the batter is so light and spongey it doesn't do well in mini-muffin tins.  They collapsed a bit and were somewhat misshapen, but all that can be covered by some whipped cream and berries.  I'm submitting this adaptation to Cooking In Cleveland's Strawberry Moon Festival event.

At the last minute I added a lemon curd tart I found on recipe-zaar. These came out wonderfully, although make sure you use a non-stick pan and oil it well. I'll admit to cheating a buying pre-made lemon curd (since the day's baking schedule included pie crust, puff pastry, cream puffs, pasty cream and these two desserts.) I garnished with micro mint from our garden which I think worked out beautifully.

Stay tuned for the final part of this triumvirate of desserts on Tuesday, when I review the cream puff recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie.

Almond Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries
adapted from Gourmet

4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped with 1 oz gelatin and 1/4 c powdered sugar to stabilize


Make cake:Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan and line bottom with parchment or wax paper. Butter paper and dust pan with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, and extract in a large bowl until combined well, then whisk in flour and salt.

Beat whites with an electric mixer at high speed until they just hold soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, mixing at low speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about one third of whites into batter to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Pour batter into cake pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until pale golden and a tester comes out clean, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack.

top with whipped cream and strawberries

Miniature Lemon Tarts
adapted from recipe-zaar

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup lemon curd (lemon pie filling, mousse or any kind of pie filling)

In food processor pulse sugar, powdered sugar and butter till creamy. Can be done with electric beaters as well. Mix rest of ingredients except lemon curd and sweetened condensed milk, mix until a smooth dough is formed. Chill 15 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap. Spray mini muffin tins with pam. Measure 1 Tbsp of dough. Roll into ball place one in each hole of mini tart pan. Using your thumb make a centre with the dough making sure that the dough in uniform size all around and not to thin on the top. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes or until dough is slightly firm but not set. They may close up during cooking. Remove tart shells from oven working quickly and using the back of a rounded 1/2 tsp measuring spoon gently press a shallow indentation in each shell. (Dont let them cool or it will be harder to get them to form a shell). Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until edges of shells are firm and golden. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and transfer to cooling rack, if they need more shaping you can do that now. Cool completely before filling. Can be made to this point and frozen (but thaw to room temp before filling).

Fill with lemon curd or other filling.  Garnish with leon zest, mint, powdered sugar, or a blueberry.



OhioMom said...


These cakes look "delish", thank you for submitting an entry to the strawberry moon festival:)

Je ne regrette rien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Je ne regrette rien said...

I thought of you when I read this recipe for mini sliders and I really like her site too.

(sorry for duplicate)