French Vanilla and Berry Mini Cakes

I must be on a “mini” kick right now, but really there is nothing better than food that looks amazing and tastes amazing. Okay, maybe food that looks amazing, tastes amazing and is amazingly quick and easy. This right here is just that. It hails from the fabulous Great New Zealand Cookbook that Grandma Judy gave to me and I’m so excited to try more recipes from there. I won’t admit how fast we all inhaled these, but it was a record. Everyone from my picky little eaters to my meat and potatoes type husband loved these. The coconut doesn’t give it an overwhelming coconut flavor, but gives it the perfect texture to compliment the buttery crisp edges. Just delicious. And I’m thinking these would be perfect to serve at a bridal or baby shower or or birthday luncheon. So somebody quick have a baby, get engaged or have a birthday already (at least on this side of the hemisphere) so that I can have an excuse to make these again!

1 1/2 C powdered sugar (plus extra for dusting)
1/2 C flour
1 C fine desiccated coconut (not sure if this is just a New Zealand ingredient, I’ve never really shopped around for coconut anywhere else, just get the finest grate you can find)
3/4 C butter
6 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C berries (fresh or frozen)
Whipping cream to garnish

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin tin. Sift powdered sugar and flour into a mixing bowl and add coconut. Melt butter and lightly beat egg whites with a pinch of salt. Add butter, egg whites and vanilla to the mixing bowl and stir well, it should be quite runny. Spoon mixture evenly into 12 muffin cups (they should be about 2/3-3/4 full, they don’t rise as much as a muffin so it’s okay to fill them closer to the top). Top each mini cake with a few berries, pressing into the surface. Bake for 17-20 min, or until browned on the outside and a toothpick comes out clean Leave in tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Turn each cake upside down and dust with powdered sugar then top with a dallop of whipping cream.

*you can also substitute the same quantity of ground almonds for the coconut

Source: The Great New Zealand Cookbook

 

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