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- Almond meal is readily available in packets in the baking section at supermarkets. It’s sometimes labelled as ground almonds which is the same as almond meal. You can also make your own almond meal or ground almonds by putting whole blanched almonds in the food processor and processing until the nuts are finely ground. Do not over-process as the oils in the almonds will turn them into a paste. To keep almond meal and ground almonds as fresh as possible they are best stored in a screw-top jar in the fridge. Use almond meal within four weeks.
- The cakes can be made up to two days before icing. The iced cakes will keep in a cool, dry place for two days.
1. Put lemon in a small heavy-based pan and cover with water. Bring slowly to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and put in a bowl, and leave to cool. Combine poppy seeds and milk in a bowl. Stand for 20 minutes to soften seeds.
2. Roughly chop the lemon, and remove any seeds and the membrane. Put the lemon in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole, ¹⁄³-cup-capacity muffin tin
with paper cases.
3. Put butter and sugar in the small bowl of an electric mixer and beat until mixture is light and creamy. Add the eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Transfer the butter mixture to a large bowl. Add lemon, almond meal, flour, poppy seeds and milk to butter mixture. Fold in gently using a large metal spoon.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared moulds until three-quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of cakes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.
5. Use colouring to make 1 cup purple frosting and use less to make 1 cup mauve. Spread each cake with the purple frosting. Fill icing bag with frosting and, with petal-shaped pipe attached, pipe shapes on each cake top. Stand the cakes for 20 minutes to set.
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