Carla is reliving her catering days with these delicious Tea Cakes!
FOR THE SHEET CAKE:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature, plus more for greasing)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup sugar (divided)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
4 large egg whites
FOR THE VANILLA GLAZE:
12 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
FOR THE ROYAL PINK ICING:
1/2 pound confectioners’ sugar (plus additional to thicken icing)
5 teaspoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon pink food coloring
1 box store bought candied violets
For the Sheet Cake: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 12-inch by 8 1/2-inch by 1-inch rimmed baking sheet, set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and 3/4 cup of sugar, beating until pale in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl and continue to beat. Add in the vanilla and turn the mixer to low. Slowly add in 1/3 of the flour followed by 11/2 of the milk repeating and ending with the flour, beat until just combined. Transfer to a large bowl and wash out the bowl to the stand mixer.
In the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs whites until foamy and beginning to thicken. Slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.
Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the cake mixture until combined. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking sheet using an offset spatula to even out the top of the cake. Transfer the cake to the oven and bake until the cake is golden and pulls away from the pan, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the baking sheet and let cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Vanilla Glaze: In a medium bowl stir together the sugar, milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and Kosher salt, whisking until the mixture is combined. If too thick add more milk, if too thin, add more sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Use immediately.
For the Royal Pink Icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat at a medium speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form. Check for the consistency of the icing; dip a spoon into the icing, the icing should fall off the spoon, forming ribbons, and settle into a flat surface again after 15 seconds. If the icing is too thick add more water, too thin add more confectioners’ sugar. Once you have found the correct consistency dye the icing a baby pink shade using your food coloring. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Set aside until ready to use.
To Assemble: Once the cake has cooled, cut into 1-inch squares. Place on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack about 1 inch apart. Pour the vanilla glaze over the cake square making sure to cover completely. Set aside to let the glaze dry. If the glaze looks too thin repeat 1 to 2 more times allowing to set between each glaze addition.
Using your royal pink icing decorate the tea cakes by swooping the icing over the cakes in thin diagonal lines. Decorate each tea cake with a candied violet. Let set for a couple minutes and serve.
Tip: Use a different shaped cookie-cutters to cut out the cakes and liven up your party!