The other day, David Lebovitz posted a picture of part of his ramekin collection on Instagram. Stacks of variously-sized glazed white porcelain bowls, filling an entire sink. I covet this collection from the depths of my baker-heart.
What is a girl to do but start her own collection of baking vessels? For me, though, it started with tart pans. Pretty little fluted pans in a myriad variety of sizes for a million different uses. Cupcakes? Who needs cupcakes when you can make such daintily ruffled berry-studded tea cakes?
Red currants are, as you can see, lovely crimson berries like tiny Christmas ornaments. They have a small edible pips in the middle and have a tart-sweet flavor that works quite well with this rich yellow cake. Make lots of different sizes and invite friends over!
Red Currant Lemon Tea Cakes
Makes 1 loaf, four 5-inch round cakes, or quite a few tiny tea cakes.
butter and flour for the pans
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon dehydrated lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh red currants, destemmed
Heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Thoroughly butter and flour the loaf pan or any other small molds you’ll be using.
In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, butter, sugar, egg, egg yolks, and vanilla.
Toss the currants in 2 tablespoons of the flour. Add the rest of the flour to the wet ingredients, along with the baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Stir together quickly to incorporate.
Add the floured currants to the batter and carefully fold, breaking as few berries as possible.
Spoon the batter into the pan and/or molds. You’ll want to under-fill the pans and molds so the cakes have room to expand without overflowing — shoot for 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Bake for 30 minutes for the smallest (2 inches or smaller) molds, 40 minutes for medium-sized (3-4 inches) molds, 50 minutes for large (5-6 inch) molds, and 60 minutes for standard loaf pans. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or small knife into the center of the cake. When it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Cool in molds for 10-15 minutes, when remove from molds and cool completely on wire racks.
Because I used a large variety of sizes, I’m not sure exactly how many of any given size cake this recipe will make. Sorry!
I used homemade dehydrated lemon zest (which I will do a Back to Basics post on shortly) that I ground up in a mortar and pestle, but of course, regular fresh lemon zest would be just as good if not better.
If red currants are difficult to find in your area, try other currant varieties or other small, tart berries. Blueberries would work as well, but won’t have the lovely tart-rich contrast that these have.
These are great served with a little limoncello, or with a little of it brushed on top of the cakes.
Music to cook by: Colours [Grouplove // Grouplove]