June 4, 2013

Ginger Peach Teacakes

Peach Teacakes with a Ginger Liqueur Glaze, Ol' Sport!
ginger peach cakes cupcakes flowers

Which potluck item would be appropriate for a Great Gatsby themed 20's housewarming party?!  I racked my brain...  I knew I wanted to make sweets, and of course, cupcakes are always on the top of my mind.  I even went shopping for cupcake liners to get some inspiration.  Well, I did manage to find the cutest cupcake liners that were grey, black and yellow and super elegant. I thought I would be using those, but I made a last minute change and wanted to do something smaller and more bite sized for the party. So I landed on mini cakes, tiny, cute, teacakes. 

ginger peach cakes flowers

Now, I may be taking some liberties in calling them teacakes, because what really makes a teacake a teacake?  I typed that exact question into my search engine.  I got results for traditional English teacakes, which aren't very cute at all, more like a yeast-based bun with dried fruit.  The South will refer to a large, dense, cookie-like treat made with butter, flour, eggs, milk and sugar as a teacake. BUT, in the rest of the United States a teacake is usually a single-layered, lightly spiced cake, often made with buttermilk, topped with a glaze and sometimes they contain fruit.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  We have a winner.  And by just doing a glaze on top, instead of frosting, gave me a chance to play around with my royal icing and piping techniques that I so rarely use outside of work. 

ginger peach cakes cupcakes flowers

And to top it all off, once my recipe was decided on we decided to go see The Great Gatsby in theatres.  The character, Nick, brings little cakes with flowers on top for his tea party to bring together Gatsby and Daisy!  It was perfect!

The original recipe for these teacakes was from Tutti Dolci and they were Tangerine Teacakes.  I definitely wanted to add some flavors, but I decided on a peach flavored cake.  I omitted the tangerine juice and zest and added about a cup of finely diced peaches to the batter.  After the cakes were done, I wished I had added more peaches.  Oh well, next time!  For the glaze, I simply used a ginger liqueur and powdered sugar and I think the glaze turned out to be my favorite part! 

royal icing piped flowers
The flowers were made with a simple royal icing recipe of powdered sugar, meringue power and water.  I piped the flowers using various tips and them spraying them with pearl spray to give them an iridescent look.  Some of them may be a little more challenging, but some are simply drop flowers that require you to only squeeze, twist and release.  These would be just fine with no decoration on the top or perhaps some cute sprinkles.  I hope to do a frosting, piping and decorating blog post soon! So keep on the lookout for that!

royal icing flowers piped frosting

The tiny cakes were a big hit at both gatherings I took them to that weekend!  They were light, and fresh.  I did, however, store some of these overnight and the glaze soaked up into the cake and disappeared from the top.  They still tasted fabulous and it kept them moist.  If you do plan on making them ahead of time and you don't want your glaze to soak in, try adding more powdered sugar and thicken it up a little bit.  I think I will try that next time. 

ginger peach cupcakes cakes flowers

Katy and Kyle's Gatsby party was a smash!  Everyone dressed up and really got into it.  The ladies were stunning and the gentlemen were as dapper as could be.

It was a really splendid party ol' sport!

Ginger Peach Teacakes

Adapted from Tutti Dolci's Tangerine Teacakes

Makes 3-4 dozen mini cakes

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups chopped peaches (I used frozen because I had them, but fresh would be the way to go)
3 eggs whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp ginger liqueur (I used Domaine de Canton, from BevMo)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray two mini muffin pans (or 2 standard sized) with non-stick spray.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl.  With a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until combined.  Beat in the vanilla.  On low speed, begin by adding 1/2 of the dry mixture and mix until incorporated.  Add the buttermilk and finish with the rest of the dry ingredients.  Be sure not to over mix.

With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer and a clean, dry bowl and whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.  (I used a stand mixer and I only have one bowl, so I had to transfer the cake batter to a large bowl and wash and dry the bowl so that I could whip the egg whites.)

Using a spatula, fold the eggs whites into the cake batter in two additions. 

Spoon batter evenly into the muffin pans and bake for 10-14 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs.  Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 2 minutes, then remove them carefully to finish cooling on a wire rack. 

To make the glaze add the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth.  Depending on the consistency and thickness you want, you may want to add more sugar or liquid.  Dip the tops of each cake into the glaze or use a spoon to pour it over the top.  It may drip down the sides, so place a piece of wax paper underneath your wire rack to catch any drips. 

If you are going to put any decoration on top, whether it be flowers or sprinkles or candies, do it now while the glaze is still soft.  I cut it kind of close by dipping all of mine before placing the flowers on because towards the end my glaze was almost too set for them to stick. 

Allow glaze to dry completely and store the cakes in an air tight container for up to 2 days. 

Enjoy, ol' sport!

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