Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life's Lemon Tea Cakes

When life gives you lemons, rejoice! Why? Because lemons, especially in dainty little cake forms, are ridiculously delicious, that's why.

Last Tuesday I received a text message asking me to come in for a job interview for a group of companies. Exciting, right? The job is for CSR or more commonly known as a call-center agent, receiving calls, making calls. This is the second time they sent me a text, asking me to come in. I don't even remember applying for the position! Now don't think me arrogant for not diving right into this job opportunity, I just really don't think I have the patience or the discipline to sit in one position, with one view, with a headpiece all day. Nor do I want to start my day at night, eating a midnight snack for breakfast or vice versa.

Clearly, with my lack of a job from being too picky, I am flat out broke. The good news is that there are a lot of people out there who lack the time, skill and/or optimism in baking; people who like to eat and are willing to pay a good price for home-baked goodies. Now, I am not a business woman, I just really need to earn because I am in no position to ask for allowance from my parents anymore. So usually on Tuesdays, I bake goodies for my Mum to bring to her office and sell to her friends there. It's easy and not demanding, and when they ask for more, it's like a favour for me to do (in return for cash).

Hello, Lemon Tea Cakes. Tea cakes (the Australian versions of them), are small dainty sponge cakes, like a cupcake minus the frosting. Why not add frosting? Simple, I don't like frosting. I don't hate frosting, I have it every once in a while, I just find it too dense and sweet and occasionally, messy. I usually would bake cookies, but I wanted a small break from them - everyone could use a little variety.

Lemons are bit underrated if you ask me. The first thing an average person would think for lemons is Lemonade, then Lemon Iced Tea, followed by Lemon Meringue Pie and that's basically it, isn't it? Lemons are incredibly delicious. The sourness mixed in with sugar is perfect for dainty cookies and sponge cakes, giving it a lovely, almost regal taste that deserves only your best china served with a cup of tea.

To make the most out of your lemons, when grating the zest, grind it with sugar to maximize the flavor. Just take about a tablespoon from the measured sugar that you would need and add it later on.

As for the juice, when you have removed the zest, bounce the lemon for a bit like a stress ball, making the juices loose so you can squeeze out more.

Start by creaming your butter and sugar, then add the eggs one at a time, incorporating them well. Then alternatively add the flour mixture and the milk.

Add your lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and mix well.

When filling the liners, make sure you leave them a little space for it to rise, about 3/4 full.

Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the sides of the cakes are golden. Let them cool in the pan before removing them.

Light and dainty, these cakes are perfect with your afternoon tea.

Now these are ready to be sold by piece, with a special discount when ordered by the bulk. And while I was out catching up with friends today (I forgot to bring some for them), Mum brought my cakes to her office and someone actually bought a whole box. And now, I have more orders to fill in for this weekend. What a chore? What a drag? Nope. Piece of cake.


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