Lemon and blueberry teacakes

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 10
Theme: Blue
Recipe: Lemon and blueberry teacakes
Cookbook: Ottolenghi

I made a big order on Amazon over Easter, picking up cookbooks and food books that had been on my wish list for a while. The free shipping and insanely high Australian dollar was just too tempting to pass up! 😀 On Friday, the last of my order arrived, and one of the books I received was Ottolenghi, the cookbook.

I only had a quick flick through the cookbook, but the photos of teacakes caught my eye almost immediately. There were three recipes for teacakes, and with one of them being lemon and blueberry, I decided to bake them this weekend to tick off my Cookbook Challenge for the fortnight.

At Ottolenghi, the teacakes are baked in mini bundt tins, and it just so happened that I own silicon mini bundt moulds. I have a soft spot for bakeware and while I normally resist buying novelty tins, the mini bundt ones were way too cute for me to pass up! And I’m glad I had them – the cakes can be baked in normal muffin tins but they wouldn’t look half as gorgeous. And you eat with your eyes first and all that. 🙂

As I was making the cakes, I was surprised to find that there was no rising agent in the batter. Uh oh. Was it a mistake? The other teacake recipes in the book were completely different recipes but included baking powder. Should I add some in or trust that the book would be right? The batter had an entire cup of almond meal, a fuck load of butter and sugar, as well as five eggs – that was a lot of ingredients to throw away if it turned into a disaster. In the end, I decided to trust in the book and crossed my fingers.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about! They rose slightly in the oven, and didn’t turn out to be flat, heavy tearocks like I had feared. I veered slightly from Ottolenghi’s recipe, using dried blueberries instead of fresh ones and rather than topping the cakes with a lemon icing, I drizzled on a blueberry jam glaze (no, it’s not chocolate!) The teacakes were soft and lemony, with a texture that was similar to a flourless orange cake. They were delicious!

When summer comes, I’m going to bake these again and fill the cavity in the middle with fresh berries (idea stolen from Ottolenghi). Deliciousness AND cuteness overload!

See previous Cookbook Challenge posts here.

And see what other Cookbook Challenge participants made for this theme at the CC forum.

Lemon and blueberry teacakes

Adapted from Ottolenghi

280g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
5 eggs
65g plain flour
280g almond meal
grated zest of 2 lemons
100ml lemon juice
60g dried blueberries (or use fresh blueberries, but double this amount)

20ml lemon juice
30ml water
170g blueberry jam

Preheat your oven to 170°C and grease 12 mini bundt tins very well.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy.

Break all the eggs into a bowl and mix together lightly with a fork. Gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating well between additions, until all the egg is fully incorporated.

Mix together the flour and almond meal and gently fold into the butter mixture. Add the lemon zest, juice and blueberries and fold into the mixture until combined.

Spoon the mixture into the bundt moulds, ensuring that you fill the tins up to the edge. Level the mixture and clean the edges of the moulds if necessary.

Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes, before gently turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, put all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir and leave it to simmer for about 5 minutes. Let it cool until it thickens to a thick glaze, and then drizzle over the teacakes.