Sweet bitesize bakes
Tiny treats to make your mouth water...
Baking doesn't have to be a big undertaking. These sweet treats from Sarah Trivuncic might be small but they're still pretty special...
An individual mini Victoria sponge, topped with a simple sugar rose, is surely everyone’s idea of the perfect afternoon tea!
For the vanilla sponge cupcakes
Makes 32 mini cupcakes
Baking time - 16–18 minutes
You will need...
- 125g (41/2oz) unsalted (sweet) butter, softened
- 125g (41/2oz)caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 large (US extra large) eggs, lightly beaten
- 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 125g (41/2oz)self-raising (-rising) flour, sifted
- 20ml (11/2 tbsp) milk
1 Preheat the oven to180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Take three 12-hole tins (pans) and line with 32 mini paper cupcake cases.
2 Using an electric mixer with a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
3 Fold in the flour one-third at a time until just combined. Fold in the milk but do not over mix.
4 Evenly spoon the batter into the cases, filling them two-thirds full.
5 Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until a cocktail stick (toothpick) inserted comes out clean.
6 Leave in the tins (pans) for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
For the decoration
You will need…
- 36 standard vanilla cupcakes baked in simple paper cases
- 45ml (3 tbsp) light green soft-peak royal icing
- disposable piping (pastry) bag
- sugarpaste: 75g (21/2oz) pink
- 200g (7oz) raspberry jam
- icing (confectioners’) sugar for dusting
- paper doily
1 Fill the piping (pastry) bag with light green royal icing and snip the tip into a 3mm (1∕8in) ‘V’-shape.
2 On a large sheet of baking parchment, pipe three 2cm (3/4in) leaves each pointing outwards from the centre in a triangular shape. Repeat to make 18 leaf formations.
3 Roll 18 spiral roses from the pink sugarpaste. Affix one to the centre of each leaf formation with a dab of green icing. Leave to dry.
4 Remove the paper cases from the cupcakes and smooth any rough edges on the cakes.
5 Sandwich the cupcake bases together in pairs using raspberry jam.
6 Using a paper doily as a stencil, lightly dust the tops of the cakes with icing (confectioners’) sugar.
7 With a dab of light green icing, affix the flowers and leaves on top of each sandwich and serve.
Perfumed PerfectionThese elegant mini French macarons are flavoured with crystallized roses and violets for a treat that smells as sublime as it tastes
For the French macarons
You will need…
- 110g (33/4oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
- 60g (2oz) ground almonds
- 2 egg whites (60g/2oz worth), ideally left to age for 24 hours loosely covered in a cool place or several days in the fridge but brought back up to room temperature before use
- 40g (11/2oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1.25ml (1/4 tsp) gel or paste food colouring (optional)
1 Grease and line baking sheets with baking parchment.
2 Grind the icing (confectioners’) sugar and almonds in a food processor to a very fine powder.
3 Using an electric mixer with a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to a foam then add the caster (superfine) sugar gradually and beat until the meringue stands in soft peaks.
4 If making coloured macarons, gently beat in the gel or paste food colouring now.
5 Tip the almond and sugar mixture on top of the meringue. Using a silicone spatula, sweep around the bowl in a circle and then use the blade edge to make rapid sideways strokes ten times.
6 Repeat five more times. The batter should resemble flowing lava. Repeat until it slowly sinks back on itself.
7 Fill a piping (pastry) bag with the batter and pipe the macaron shells onto the lined baking sheets (see Piping macarons in Techniques).
8 Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas 2. Leave the trays of shell batter to dry out until a skin forms on each circle – in a warm place this should take around 20 minutes.
9 Bake on a low shelf for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for two minutes then carefully remove from the baking sheets. A few drops of water sprinkled under the paper will steam off any that are stuck.
10 Place on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before making pairs and filling. Enjoy while fresh.
You will need...
- ingredients as for French macarons (see above)
- 20g (3/4oz) each crystallized rose and violet petals
- white chocolate ganache
- pink and lilac gel food colourings
- 2.5ml (1/2 tsp) each rose water and violet essence (or ground Parma Violet sweets)
- disposable piping (pastry) bag with 1cm (3∕8in) opening
1 Separately grind 5g (1∕8oz) each of crystallized rose and violet petals to a fine powder. Divide the sugar and almond mixes in step 2 of the macaron recipe into two batches and add the rose powder to one and the violet powder to the other.
2 Divide the egg whites in step 3 of the recipe into two batches and add pink food colouring to one and lilac to the other in the latter stage of whisking. Tip the almond mixtures on top of their respective coloured meringues in step 5 of the recipe.
3 Continue with the recipe to mix the batter then use the piping (pastry) bag to pipe the macaron shells.
4 Lightly crush the remaining crystallized rose and violet petals with a rolling pin; sprinkle a little on the respective wet macaron shells. Leave the trays of shells to dry out for 20 minutes until a skin forms then bake as per the recipe instructions.
5 Divide the white chocolate ganache into two batches and tint one light pink and the other lilac. Flavour the pink ganache with rose water essence and the lilac ganache with the violet essence (or finely ground Parma Violet sweets).
6 Sandwich the cooled macaron shells together with their respective coloured ganaches. Before it sets, roll the macarons in the remaining crushed crystallized petals.Readers of The Lady can order Bake Me I’m Yours… Sweet Bitesize Bakes by Sarah Trivuncic for the special price of £7.49 (RRP £9.99 with free p&p (UK only). To order your copy visit www.rucraft.co.uk/R11637 and quote code R11637 upon checkout or call RUCraft on 0844 8805851
Daily tip from the lady archive
"IF you accept hospitality from friends, you should return it in some form, however humble, and nice people will be just as pleased if you invite them to afternoon tea as to an elaborate dinner."The Lady. Household Management. 1899
Nanny/Housekeeper/Cook for a family in Geneva.
The ideal candidate must be great with children, active and independent.
Must enjoy the outdoor life and be able to cook healthy family meals.
req flexible, enthusiastic live-in couple, own transport, must be available to work weekends, and offer security presence.
Duties include full array of gardening/grounds maintenance, thus must be fit and healthy and have proven gardening experience to care for formal gardens, lawns, some woodland, hedges, large vegetable garden.
Within house, assistance required for cook and housekeeper,
and to provide staff cover for week-ends/holidays when owners in residence.
In addition, couple to be responsible for care of pet dog in owners' absence.
Salary on application.
Contact: Box 16254