My sister-in-law will no doubt say this is her recipe, my sister will say its hers and we will all verbally fight it out in the various kitchens of future family events. One says it’s about the apples – the tangy mix of good Braeburns and Granny Smiths – while the other’s trick is the booze and gentle folding in of the melted butter. Mine is the spiced fragrant almonds I sprinkle on the top to offset the floral notes of the cardamom and caramel fruit and add crunch to the cake’s spongy texture. Click here to see the spiced candied almonds recipe.
Recipe Category: Fiona Hughes Issue 194
In the cooler months when our citrus trees are heaving under the weight of fruit, this tart is my go-to dessert when we host guests. The creamy, yellow custard has a fresh flavour punch full of tangy citrus zest that tidies up what sometimes can be an overly sweet tart when encased in a plain sugary crust. So, I’ve packed some spicy autumn flavour into the sweet pastry here with my own five-spice blend using black peppercorns rather than the usual Sichuan which lessens the perfume flavour that I sometimes find a little overwhelming. I also used cassia bark for its more rugged earthy cinnamon spice notes.
This recipe is one of my French husband’s family recipes – whipped up literally in a dash, the chocolatey, velvet softness of this cake is champion in our Franco-Kiwi household. Since meeting the effervescent Merrill J. Fernando of Dilmah last year I have been spellbound by the powers of tea and I am using it far less carelessly than before. The addition of bergamot citrus notes from Earl Grey tea touched with a smack on the tongue from fruity ground Guajillo chillies make these darling little cakes jaunty and voguish. Partner them with the perfect, pillowy mandarin cream.