Monday, June 15, 2009

cake and make

the only thing better than a Sunday spent crafting, is when you take a bit of time on Saturday to whip up some treats to get you through the following day.

Why stop for lunch when you have an array of cakes to help you push through an afternoon well spent making things?

Recently I have become more and more obsessed with Jamie Oliver's magazine. I pretty much devour every issue I buy and then meticulously pour over the pages matching recipes I want to make to various appropriate occasions. Mostly the recipes seem to be savoury dishes, but every now and then a dessert slips into the mix - and these incredibly simple, but amazing cupcakes, had crafternoon written all over them!

These little lemon cakes are topped with a delicious icing made with fresh pressed raspberries, and I improvised a bit and added mint leaves I candied to enhance the light and airy flavour of the cakes.

Last year, when working at a restaurant I discovered the amazing combination of berries and mint, and I can't miss out on an opportunity to marry the flavours.

Candying mint leaves is dead easy... you just whip up some egg whites with a bit of lemon juice (or dried egg whites if you want to be a little safer), and then dip each leaf in and lay them all out of a wire rack... sprinkle caster sugar over them lightly as they dry so that the sugar melts into the foamy egg coating... by the next morning you'll have an amazing collection of candied leaves that you can use to decorate or top any number of desserts!

Just a warning - these cakes are dangerously good - they are just sugary enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, but not so saccharine sweet that you'll ever reach dessert capacity while eating them... In other words, you can eat them steadily all day without realising that you missed lunch, or even dinner for that matter!