Recipe 59 – Little Gems

7th April 2012

With Easter Sunday only the next day, I knew I had some little visitors coming (my niece and nephew) so little cakes for little people had to be made.

A quick look through the Bible and I came across ‘Little Gems’.  Initially I thought they would be like their namesake that you can buy in shops with a pastry base and an iced rosette on top, but no these were tiny little iced cakes.  Mary states that this recipe should make around 65.  That’s a lot of little cakes, but I know my niece and nephew would love to take a box full of cakes home with them.

So, oven on and 65 petits fours cases put onto the trays.  I do have a small tin for these which takes 24, so I used this as well.

This was another all in one recipe so into the bowl went the butter, eggs, self-raising flour, baking powder, caster sugar and milk.  The mixture was beaten together with my hand whisk and then it was a case of spooning the mixture into the cases.  Mary says to spoon scant teaspoonfuls into the cases.  To start with they were all pretty even, but towards the end there were a few with slightly more mixture in than the others.  In all I made 54 cakes and I must admit by the end my hand was aching from spooning the little spoonfuls into each case.

Into the oven they were popped and I was surprised to see that they took 15-20 minutes to cook.  Surely they’d be burnt after that long, they were only tiny.  After 15 minutes I had a peek at them and they were extremely well risen and a lovely golden brown colour so out of the oven they came.  It was then a case of transferring them all to a wire rack, this seemed to take an age, but eventually they were all on the tray cooling.

The icing that Mary suggested was a runny icing, but as it was Easter I had decided to make the top of the cakes into nests and pop a chocolate egg onto each one.  So I quickly made up some buttercream and it was then on to colouring it.  I didn’t have brown colouring, so initially (with the help of my daughter) we decided to make the icing yellow for the nests.  This looked awful, so a bit of green colouring was added and eventually we got the brown colour we desired.  This reminded me of painting with the children when they were little.  Initially you had about 4 or 5 colours to paint with, but by the end all the colours were the same brown colour where brushes hadn’t been washed out and the paint had all been mixed together.  This brought back some memories and we had a little giggle about some of the things she and her brother had made and painted when they were little.  She still doesn’t understand why I keep all these little things – she said if her children make things like that she’ll throw them away – I bet she doesn’t, I love every single one of them and they all have a story to tell!

For the nests I decided to use one of my new nozzles, it had 8 tiny holes in it so you could make hair or something similar with the icing.  The icing was put into the bag and it was onto piping the nests.  After a while I got the hang of it and the nests were being iced almost as quickly as my daughter was putting the egg into the middle of each of them.  But then disaster struck – there was a funny noise from the piping bag and the coupler and nozzle shot off across the cakes.  The holes in the nozzle were so fine they had become blocked by the icing.  With the nozzle washed out we attempted the nests again.  All was going well, when again there was a funny noise and plop out popped the coupler/nozzle – this time shooting icing across the kitchen.  Well that was it a fit of giggles ensued while we were trying to find the missing icing that had shot across the room.  It was nowhere to be found.

Eventually all the cakes had been iced and eggs popped onto all of them – I must admit we both tasted a few to make sure they were all right – they were delicious.

My cakes went down well on Easter Sunday with both my niece and nephew eating cake after cake.  To make my day my niece said to me, “Did you make these cakes?”  To which I replied yes and she said, “They’re yummy they’re the best cakes I’ve ever had”.  I couldn’t have had a better compliment than that!  They went home with a huge box of cakes and left us with about six or seven – gosh how many did they eat when they were here – I hope they ate their dinner!!!

And with regard to the missing icing that shot across the kitchen, it was found the next day on the underside of one of the cupboards – found by my husband, oops!


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