Friday, August 08, 2008

Mini Cherry & Almond Tea Cakes

cherry almond tea cakes

As much as I enjoy eating cherries out of hand, I have to confess that I usually reserve them for baking. I find there's something mystically alluring about baked cherries. It would have been a challenge if the cherries were sweet and juicy. But the 2 lb that I bought last week didn't leave me with such dilemma. They were as bland as water.

I thought they were destined to be baked and transformed.

cherry tea cake

I went on auto pilot mode and whipped up a batch of cherry clafoutis for breakfast and used the next 30 bland cherries in the mini cherry & almond tea cakes recipe. When I first saw the picture of the tea cakes here, I know this would be the best use for those cherries. Not to mention, I could finally use the mini muffin pan that I have bought but long forgotten.

cherry almond tea cakes

Although the author named the recipe tea cakes, the list of ingredients and method of preparation reveal a close resemblance to financiers, which I love. I decreased the amount of brown butter from 10 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons and replaced Chambord for Kirsh which the original recipe suggested.

I like the simplicity of the recipe. Other than browning butter, all one needs is a whisk and a bowl to combine the ingredients. I served them on a tray before a dinner party, and one of my friend's husband loved it so much that I let him took the rest home. Even OCT who usually complains about the hassle of removing pits in cherries like the mini cherry tea cakes.

I am already thinking of making another batch for our next picnic.


Mini Cherry & Almond Tea Cakes
adapted from Martha Stewart Living

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin
1 1/4 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
5 large egg whites
4 teaspoons Chambord / kirsch (cherry brandy)
30 sweet (Bing) cherries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter, and dust lightly with flour.
*Note: I used a 24 cups mini muffins pan, and filled the rest of the batter in 3 disposable aluminium muffin cups.

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to sputter, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove skillet from heat.

Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in chambord/kirsch. Pour in butter, leaving any dark-brown sediment in skillet, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Ladle 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about halfway. Push a cherry into each, keeping stem end up. With a small spoon, smooth batter over cherries to cover. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold. Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature overnight.


Susan from Food Blogga said...

I had wanted to bake cherry muffins with the stem popping out like that and never got around to it. Thanks to you, I can enjoy yours. They're adorable!

Y said...

Makes you want to pick one up and eat it whole :) Too bad the cherries were bland to begin with though.

LyB said...

I love the cherry stem sticking out, so unusual! These look delicious, I usually keep cherries to eat fresh and crunchy but these just might make me break out the mini muffin tin. :)

Aimei said...

I love baking mini cakes! They are so cute and easy to be eaten from. I like your idea of the cherry stems popping out too. :)

Manggy said...

Gorgeous! What a cute touch the stems are!! Question: Did the baking really bump up the flavor of the unfortunate cherries?

Kana said...

A beautiful and delicious way to use cherries.

Snooky doodle said...

these look so cute. I like to bake with cherries too. They give the baked good a more sophisticated look. Pity i fon t find sweet good cherries here usually they are bland. I never tried financiers think i ll try these though. Really nice pictures and i like the new loof of the blog. :-)

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Those are so small and cute I know I could eat a bunch of them. Is that a new header? I don't remember it... It looks great!

Little Corner of Mine said...

Sooo cute and beautiful pictures!

Jacque said...

How cute are those!?!? Very creative and they sound delish!

Lyndsay Wells said...

Oh!!!! These look so wonderful. I have to try them as our cherries are really nice right now anyways :-)

Happy Homebaker said...

Oh, these are so lovely!

Antonio Tahhan said...

wow, these look amazing!! The stem sticking out seems so practical for eating the cakes, too!

MPG said...

These are so cute & clever...the flavors sound amazing, too.

Stardust said...

Looks wonderful! I'm excited about trying them soon. Thanks for sharing, and yes, your new look in header is so cute!

Anonymous said...

Those are so beautiful! Especially in mini-form. I'd love to bring them to someone as a gift!

Anonymous said...

Love the new look of the blog, and those tea cakes are adorable! How'd the cherry stems hold up during the baking?

jeri said...

That is the cutest little tea cake ever! I need to find my mini-muffin pan.

LOVE the new blog header! Very nice.

Jules said...

Like you I prefer cooking with cherries rather than eating with them. These mini cakes are gorgeous.

Deborah said...

I love how the cherries still have their stems! Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

These look adorable and are a great conversation piece too.

Anonymous said...

the last batch of cherries that i ate was the bland as well. i didn't have time to u-pick this year, so i miss eating good cherries.

as usual, your baked goods look mouthwatering!

Jennywenny said...

I made them this weekend and they were very cute. I found them to be quite salty though, did you notice that? I double checked and you definitely used a whole teaspoon.

Mandy said...


yes! the sugar in the recipe or maybe the high hear in oven has certainly bump up the flavor of the cherries!

clumsy cookies,
yes, it is a new header, you are the first to notice. ;)

The batter is kind of thick, so the cherries have no problem standing up tall and erect.

I remember using kosher salt, not the coarse salt that the original recipe suggested. I don't have any salty issue though.

To everyone who commented,
thanks for the compliments on the header/mini cake! I am glad you enjoy the new look and the cake.


Helene said...

I was just thinking when I followed the link to her recipe "that's a financiers" batter!! (so why doesn't she call it that?)
You did a fabulous job with these! I keep smiling because my homework last week was mini cherry cakes :)

Rachel Ducker said...

Oh wow these are amazingly cute, I love the way the cherries extrude the cake!

These are a must try for this weekend!

Duckey x

Anonymous said...

How sweet! Love them.

Eileen (passions to pastry)

NenisQ said...

aaaawwww! love cherries.....

Verena said...

these Tea Cakes looks lovelly! The stem showing gave them an extra touch!
Love the pics and really wanted to try one...!

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