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Lemon Bouquet Cakelets

Lemon Bouquet Cakelets
To zest a lemon, first scrub the fruit well to remove any wax or chemicals or, even better, buy organic fruit. You can use a special tool called a zester or the fine rasps of a handheld grater. Be sure to remove only the thin, colored layer of the rind and not the white pith, which tastes bitter.

Ingredients:

For the cakelets:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 10 Tbs. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

For the glaze:

  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour a bouquet cakelet pan.

To make the cakelets, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the lemon oil.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the cream and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the lemon zest.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the cakelets begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cakelet comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cakelets cool upright in the pan for 10 minutes. Tap the pan gently on a work surface to loosen the cakelets. Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the honey until runny. Place the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl, add the honey, lemon juice and water and stir to blend. Using a pastry brush, brush the warm cakelets with the glaze. Let the cakelets cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving. Make 6 cakelets.

Flo Braker, Author, Sweet Miniatures (Chronicle Books, 2000).