cream cheese & morello cherry teacakes

mainpictureI remember my final year of high school. It is blurry, but it is there. It was flurry of study, assessment and exams broken only by the occasional minor meltdown. An absolute horror of a year for all involved, but, like stomach, one that came with a tasty lining. No-one really noticed it at first, the odd tray of muffins, the cookies in the jar. But then the family started noticing coffee cake, and banana cake and apple cake. And scones and tarts and crumbles and, yes, more muffins. "Hmmm..." thought the family "I wonder if there's a correlation between..." (the family includes 2x engineers so correlation is truly a word they would use).

And the week after my second-to-last batch of exams, it all became stunningly clear. "Where" said my father, looking around after dinner "is dessert?" My sister looked at him. He looked at mum. She looked at me. I blinked. "I... I... I didn't make any this week." said I. "Ah-hah." said the father. "Ah-hah!" said the mother. "Ah-HAH!" said the sister before whispering "what are we ah-hah-ing about?" "We are ah-hah-ing" explained the father "because she... is a stress-baker".

And to this day, when work has been a little tough and the future is cloudy, when I have little control, when I miss someone, when I have been rained on and stepped on and have the Monday-blues, I come home and bake. I pull out a little book of penciled scratchings and try to decipher them as I beat and mix and fold. I make a small mess, or a big one. I guess quantities where my scratchings are blurred and oven temperatures where I haven't jotted them down. And then I am done.

Scraps are washed out of pots and pans, and with them go my worries... which is how I ended up with these cream cheese and morello cherry teacakes-of-a-sort. They're light and fluffy with a slight tang from the cream cheese. The original recipe calls them "buns" but after messing with it (as I do) I found them to be halfway in between breakfast & dessert. Feel free to use whatever jam you like as well - I had half a jar of morello cherry left over from Aldi and a bread & butter pudding, and supplemented with raspberry. The chunky bits were nicer though.

cream cheese & morello cherry teacakes

ingredients:

230g cream cheese
125g butter
1C sugar
2 eggs
1¾C plain flour
1tsp baking powder
½tsp baking soda
¼ milk
½tsp vanilla
½C jam of your choosing

method:

1. It's time to clear the cobwebs. Yank the fridge door open and do a jam assessment. We're looking for something chunky preferably, and not too sweet either. Raspberry worked okay, but tended to leave a glaze rather than a swirl. Cherry is perfect, ditto chunky apricotty numbers. Don't have quite enough of one flavour? That's ok. Use a combination & see which you end up liking best.



beat the cheese, butter & sugar

2. Get your stand or hand mixer out (this is not something you want to do with a whisk / wooden spoon) and toss the cream cheese in. (There will, conveniently, be 20g missing from the 250g tub from that time you made cream cheese & smoked trout sandwiches. If not, go make some for dinner.) Then toss in the cubed butter and sugar beat, beat, beat until it becomes smooth and light and creamy.


vanilla specks in a creamy mix

3. Toss an egg in and mix thoroughly. Repeat with the other egg, and then the vanilla. I'm using a pure vanilla extract, though essence will work too.


sift the dry ingredients

4. Time to get your dry ingredients sorted. Sift them all together. If you can't be bothered, use an equivalent amount of self-raising flour. This night, I was bothered. Next time? Probably not so much.

5. Mix about half of your dry ingredients into the cream cheese mix. When it has a cosntant texture, tip your milk in and repeat. Then repeat again with the rest of the flour.


dollop it into a well oiled tray

6. Oil up a couple of cupcake trays with vege oil, and put dollops of the mix in. You'll end up with enough for about 30 cupcake-shaped numbers or, you can do as I did and do one cupcake tray and then dump the rest of the mixture into a silicon tart form. Then you will have 12 cupcake-shaped numbers and one tart-shaped number. Don't ever tell me that maths isn't a strong point of mine...


add the jam

7. Now for the fun part. Dollop half spoonfuls of jam on the top of each bit of mix and then use a knife (or the back of said spoon) to swirl and poke it into the batter. When you get to the larger cake, dollop it all around and go swirl crazy.


out of the oven

8. Crank the oven up to 180C and toss the cakes in. The cupcakes take about 15 minutes and the flan form will take 20 minutes. Check they're cooked by inserting a wooden skewer into the cake. If it comes out clean it's good to go.

9. It's a teacake, so serve it up with some cream and tea. Or just cream. Or you could just pop it into your mouth hot out of the oven and go "Ahhhh..."

10 bites more:

Stephcookie said...

They look mouth-watering Shez, especially the cherry swirls on top! Haha I totally empathise with the stress-baking, I find it very soothing :)

Betty said...

It's good to know that you always have baking to make the stress subside a little!

Mr. Taste said...

Haha stress baker! I'm more of a stress eater, which is definitely a lot worse.

Have you had your family members deliberately stress you out about trivial things in the name of getting you to bake more goodies?

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Ahh, warm jam muffin sounds lovely! Apricot jam for me please.

FFichiban said...

Ooh yummmm!! Haha I am a stress-eater too... hee hee you should have made the last "Ahhhhh...HAH!"

Anita said...

What a fantastic tea cake! I love that it has a bit of extra flavour given to it from the jam!!

Howard said...

So if I ever want to have some of your delicious creations, I just need to make you pissed off or stressed ? :P

Y said...

AhAH!(ahahaha..) Yes, I'm a stress baker too! Somehow creating something becomes a cathartic experience.

panda said...

these teacakes look so fluffy and yum! and i know what you mean, final year of high school I was probably spending more time in the kitchen baking than i was studying - but it was good to destress. anyway, good to see you after so long!

Forager said...

Looks delicious (and dangerous)! I'm just a stress-eater. Starting looking like I was storing chestnuts in my cheeks for winter by the time I finished yr 12..

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