Queen Cakes

*Queen Cakes*
Makes 12 small buns
or 8 heart shaped cakes

Dating from the 18th century, these cakes have always been baked in small individual tins, either patty pans or individual heart shaped molds.   Sweet and buttery, flavoured with lemon, and stogged full of lovely dried currants

125g soft butter (generous half cup)
125g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
2 large free range eggs
150g plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
the finely grated zest of one un-waxed lemon
125g of dried currants (scant cup)
a splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.   Butter a 12 hole patty pan, or 8 heart shaped pans.  Line the bottoms of the heart tins with baking paper, and the patty pans with paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, eating well after each addition.   Beat in the lemon zest.  Sift together the flour and baking powder.  Stir in the currants.  Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour mixture, along with a splash of milk, to give a gentle dropping consistency.   Spoon into the prepared cases, filling each no more than 2/3 full.

Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes, until well risen and the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Allow to cool in the tins for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Delicious when fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.