Don't you just love high tea? The very words evoke images of fancy hotels, with powdered ladies decked out like perfumed confections sitting around trays of delicate cucumber sandwiches, tea cakes and biscuits and an ornate pot of piping hot tea.
Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen is hosting this month's Monthly Mingle - High Tea. The Monthly Mingle was created by Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey. I have brought along lavender madeleines for high tea, made from Dorie Greenspan's Baking - From My Home to Yours. The recipe is a "playing around" version of Dorie's Earl Grey Madeleines. The lavender flavour is very delicate, in fact so delicate that it is barely there, and comes from lavender-infused butter.
My tip is to realise upfront that the batter has to rest for at least 3 hours before baking, so you need to ensure that you have plenty of time up your sleeve. Apparently the resting time helps the madeleines to take on their characteristic humped shape during baking.
To make the delicate, shell shaped tea cakes, you will need:
1 tablespoon edible lavender
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Melt the butter, then stir in the lavender and allow it to infuse for 15 minutes before straining the butter and discarding the lavender.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until you have a fragrant mixture. Beat the sugar, eggs and lemon zest together until pale and thick. Add the honey and vanilla to the bowl and beat for another minute.
Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, then fold in the butter. Press a piece of cling film against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.
When you are ready to bake the madeleines, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole madeleine mould and dust with plain flour. Spoon the batter into the moulds, then bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the baked madeleines from the oven and release onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.