Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lemon and Orange Tea Cakes

A box of lemons randomly appeared in our kitchen a week ago (or so). It seemed like such a pity to let them go slowly to waste, so I've been picking my brain as to how on earth I was going to get through an entire box of lemons.

The first things that popped into mind were the likes of lemon butter, lemon meringue pies and lemon tarts. I'm not a fan of lemon butter, and I have not yet recovered from my epic failure in making shortcrust pastry to even consider attempting the latter two.

Eventually after much hunting and gathering, the idea of a simple lemon and orange tea cake hit me. Much like a pan to the face, except less painful.

So I got to work tonight, grating up the rind of about 4 lemons to produce 1 tablespoon of lemon rind and a pinch of orange rind.

Mmm citrus. Plenty of Vitamin C is perfect for winter.

Oh and before I forget, preheat the oven to 160°C.

Then, juice the lemons and oranges. You'll need about a 1/4 cup of orange and 2 tablespoons of lemon. This, my friends, is caster sugar. You need 2/3 cup.

Next, proceed to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Don't be like me and treat it with a little patience. I was a little agitated tonight.

Add the rind into the mix and continue beating. You want the mixture to be nice and pale. It should also smell rather citrus-y.

Proceed to beat in 3 eggs. One. At. A. Time. Please.

Fold in sifted flour and baking powder into the mix. I used bicarb soda and lived to regret the tale. Also fold in the orange and lemon juice.

*Note to self: remember to convert measures between baking powder and bicarb soda next time.
Grease muffin tin and spoon the mixture in. The mixture should be quite gluggy and sticky.

Look at the army of tea cakes. They are going to be golden babies of mine very soon.

This is the point where I emit an evil cackle of sorts.

After a slow 25 minutes...VOILA! Don't be too eager beaver and carefully take them out and cool them on a cooling rack. You need them cool, or the cream will melt.

Wait what? Cream?

Yes, cream. And orange syrup. I'll post the recipe for the orange syrup in a separate post. I wasn't happy with the photos of this batch. (i.e. something went weird with my DSLR.)

While you wait for the tea cakes to cool, proceed to whip up some French Vanilla Cream. Do as much or as little as you like.

After the cakes are sufficiently cool, carefully cut the tops off them. Cut the tops down the middle and set aside. Drizzle a teaspoonful of orange syrup into the cake, allowing the cake to completely soak it up. Don't pour too much. Nobody likes a fully drenched cake.

Spread a little cream on top of the tea cakes, then wedge the two halves of the cut-off top into the cream like a pair of butterfly wings. Serve with a little more orange syrup, or whatever rocks your boat.

Lemon and Orange Tea Cakes
Makes 12

To Buy:
175g Unsalted Butter
2/3 cup Caster Sugar
1 tblsp Lemon Rind
1/2 tsp Orange Rind
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tblsp lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
Cream, to serve

To Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs while beating, one by one
  4. Sift flour and baking powder, add to mixture with lemon and orange juice
  5. Spoon mix into greased muffin tins and bake for 25mins
  6. When cooked, remove from oven and cool on rack
  7. In the meantime, whip up as much or as little cream as you like with your cakes.
  8. Once cake is cool, slice the top off each cake and cut down the middle of the cap which has just been cut off
  9. Spoon a little orange syrup (recipe to follow) over the cake, allowing the cake to fully absorb the syrup
  10. Smear whipped cream over the top and wedge in the cut pieces of cake in a butterfly shape
  11. Serve with another drizzle of orange syrup


  1. what would you do with a box of mushrooms =P

  2. Seriously brilliant. I may try this!

    @Ian The only thing you can do with a box of mushrooms: make risotto. Lots of risotto.

  3. Cass: The cakes were a little on the dry side. it's ok with the syrup and the cream, but if you want to have them on their own then you may need to add more liquid to the batter?

    Ian: Risotto m'dear. Or Cream of Mushroom soup.