It's been raining here in Alice Springs and my memories of childhood in north Queensland flood back in spurts... and these cakes comes to mind. They were made by my Great Aunty Violet in her mysterious house in north Queensland with its moss and passion flowers, and scary planks to get to the toilet. The house and Aunty Violet have long since gone, but these little cakes are still as beautiful, or potentially beautiful as when I first tasted them.
My mother would often praise Aunty Violet for these cakes and their beautiful smooth lemon icing, gentle sprinkle of cinnamon and delicate filling of apple (or quince in my version). I have played around with the recipe and am reasonable happy with it... although next time I will make a couple of adjustments to the cake mixture on top more liequied and the icing to make it, much smoother...
125gm unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup castor sugar
Vanilla bean (halved)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tbs milk
3 apples, stewed with 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon stick
1 quince stewed with sugar syrup and cinnamon stick *
2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon or lime juice (strained)
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon or 2 limes
- Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Butter 2 small cake trays.
- Beat butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and continue beating until mixture is even lighter and fluffier.
- Add vanilla bean pores.
- Sift flour and gradually add to mixture in halves, intermittently with 3 tbsp milk.
- Place a small amount of mixture in each of the cups of the cake trays.
- Spoon a small amount of apple and/or quince.
- Add the remaining tbsp of milk to mixture and spoon over each cake.
- Bake for around 20 minutes until nicely browned on top.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes and then carefully take each cake out and place on rack.
- Add lemon juice to icing sugar mixture and beat out any lumps in stainless steel bowl
- Place icing over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.
- Heat until the mixture is warmed and thinner.
- Pour icing over cakes and sprinkle each one with a small amount of cinnamon.
- Allow icing to set and enjoy!