Butterfly Buns – Almond Macaroons and a cup of tea.

I was going to tell you about my new book Hi Jack but I’ll tell you about a recipe for scrumptious Butterfly Buns instead, the recipe comes from Sue and my cookbook.

Butterfly Buns

Years ago I bought Sue a cake stand, it was quite beautiful with a pewter superstructure and traditional blown glass plates. The problem with cake stands is they are used to display silly bits of nothing covered in sugar. We stopped eating sugar so I asked Sue to develop one of those silly bits of nothing recipes into a sugarless silly bit of nothing so that we could use our cake stand and she managed very well, these butterfly buns are quite scrumptious.

Ingredients: 2 eggs, butter, honey, SR flour, fresh cream.

1) Begin by weighing the eggs and then measure out the same weight as the eggs in butter, the same weight for honey and the same weight for SR flour.
2) In a mixing bowl cream together the honey and the butter.
3) Add one egg at a time to the mixture along with a small amount of flour and stir well.
4) Add the remaining flour and stir until it looks nice and creamy.
5) Using a twelve hole muffin tray, place a paper bun cup in each of the holes and divide your mixture between the cups (they should be about half full).
6) Bake at 180°C in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes with no fan.
7) When cooked allow to cool and then place the buns on a cooling rack until cold.
8) Using a sharp knife cut out the middle of the bun on the top in the shape of a prism. You do this by cutting 10mm from the edge in a circle but going down at a slight angle. Remove the prism shape and cut in half.
9) Whip the pouring cream or use dollop cream and place the cream in the hole made by removing the prism, then place your two halves back on top but at an angle to create the butterfly.
10) Now invite a few friends around for a cup of tea, a butterfly cake or two and a chat.

This recipe works equally well for a sponge cake. Simply put all the mixture in a greased and lined 20cm round tin and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Almond Macaroons

Sue developed these Macaroons so that we could use our cake stand and invite people around for afternoon tea, a famous old British tradition. Don’t forget to warm the tea pot first and use real tea.

Ingredients: For short crust pastry: 125g SR flour, 30g almond meal, 60g butter and 4 teasp cold water. For the filling: 100g almond meal, 100g honey, 1 egg, 30g butter, 6 apricots (dried can be used), 12 almonds.

1) If using dried apricots reconstitute them in a little water overnight.
2) Place the butter in a pan and stew the apricots (dried or fresh) until nice and smooth. Set aside.
3) To make the pastry: Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the almond meal and stir through. Now add 4 teasp of cold water stir through and mix with a knife to form a dough, if you need more water add it one teaspoon at a time until you get the right consistency. It should not be wet and sticky but should hold itself together.
4) Roll out the pastry on a well floured board and use an 8cm cutter to make little pastry shells, it should make 12 rounds, and place them in a 12 hole tart tin.
5) Divide your stewed fruit between the twelve pastries.
6) In a bowl mix the almond meal with the honey until all the honey has been taken up, this can be easier if you use a fork. Add the egg to the mixture and stir until the egg is worked through. Place the mixture in the pastry shells on top of the fruit and place one almond on top of each tart.
7) Bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C with no fan for 20 to 25 minutes.
8) Remove from the oven and leave for about 5 minutes and then take your tarts out and leave on a cooling rack to go cold.
9) These are lovely for afternoon tea so get out your best China tea service, sit down with someone special, drink tea and eat macaroons but don’t scoff the lot.

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