Thursday, 16 January 2014

Butterfly Cakes

"Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?"Alice asked. 
"Yes that's it," said the Hatter with a sigh: "it's always tea-time, and we've no time to wash the things between whiles."

Whenever I think of tea parties I'm always reminded of the mad tea party from Alice in Wonderland...

...A Mad Hatter, spouting ridiculous riddles with no answers, "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"
...A March Hare, attempting to fix a pocket watch with "the BEST butter."
...and a sleepy door mouse reeling off stories about 3 three sisters living in a treacle well. 

Something tells me Lewis Carroll must have been on something when he wrote this story. But, whether he was high or not, it has forever remained one of my favourites and has provided inspiration for this recipe. 

Tea parties for me are all about lots of little treats that you could have one of everything (if you feel so inclined) and not feel sick. I believe each one should be light and delicate but with just the right amount of naughtiness to make you want to go to the gym for the next week trying to work it off. 

And of course no tea party is complete without, well, tea. My personal favourite is earl grey, with a DASH of milk. You would not believe how many times I've had a cup of tea made for me, with these instructions given, and it's come back half filled with milk....'Would you like some tea with your milk?'

But however you have your tea, these Butterfly cakes will go down a treat. Jam, or lemon curd, gives a little kick to what would be a rather plain tasting cake. 

Set them on the table and watch them 'fly' away. 

125g Butter, softened
3/4 cup Castor Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
3 Eggs
1 3/4 cup Self-raising Flour
3/4 cup Milk
Jam - I've used Raspberry and Lemon Curd

To make the Butterfly Cakes...
Pre heat oven to 180°C and line a small muffin tin with patty pan liners. If you have a big muffin tin that's fine, it just means you'll get less cakes. 

In an electric mixer, place all ingredients and beat until well combined. Fill each liner approximately 2/3 full. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cakes spring back or a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. 

In the meantime, whip the cream and set aside. 

To assemble the cakes...
Using a small sharp knife, cut the top off the cake to form a little well (As shown below). Slice the cut out piece in half. 

Next spoon a small amount of jam into the well, followed by a dollop of cream. Push the two halves of the cut out piece of cake into the cream to form butterfly wings. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve. 

This demonstrates the little well needed for the filling

Fill with jam, or curd. In the background you can see how I've slice the cut out piece in half.

Dollop with cream.

Place wings on top. 

In the words of Lewis Carroll...
"No room! No room!" they cried out when they saw Alice coming. "There's plenty of room!" said Alice (as do I).