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Recipe: Almond Cupcakes with Sugar Coated Almond Topping

January 5, 2009

These cupcakes may be hard work, but worth it!

Almond Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

875 ml (3 1/2 cups) sifted cake flour

15 ml (1 tbsp) plus 5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

250 ml (1 cup) vanilla-flavoured almond milk

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

2 ml (1/2 tsp) almond extract

250 ml (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature

325 ml (1 1/3 cup) sugar, divided

8 large egg whites, room temperature

2 ml (1/2 tsp) cream of tartar

50 ml (1/4 cup) prepared almond paste, divided by teaspoonfuls and rolled into balls

White Frosting (recipe follows)

Sugar-Coated Almonds (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Place cupcake liners in a cupcake or muffin pan.

On a sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl or measuring glass, combine almond milk, vanilla and almond extract.

In the bowl of a standing mixture, beat butter until creamy. Add 250 ml (1 cup) of the sugar and beat on high speed until fluffy. Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with almond milk mixture and beating on slow speed after each addition. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Wash the bowl of the standing mixer, drying well to ensure no moisture or grease remain. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in standing mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 75 ml (1/3 cup) sugar, beating on high speed, until peaks are stiff but not dry.

Use a rubber spatula to fold 1/4 of the egg whites into cake mixture in the large bowl. Then fold in remaining egg white mixture until batter is well combined.

Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and lightly place prepared almond paste (teaspoonfuls rolled into balls) atop each cupcake, centred. Top with batter so the liner is 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake until tester comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare frosting and sugar-coated almonds. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with almonds.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Almond Cupcake Frosting

INGREDIENTS

75 ml (5 tbsp) water

1 ml (1/4 tsp) cream of tartar

325 ml (1 1/3 cups) sugar

2 large egg whites, room temperature

15 ml (1 tbsp) light corn syrup

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

In a large stainless-steel bowl, whisk together all ingredients except vanilla extract.

Set bowl in a wide, deep skillet filled with about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of simmering water. M

Make sure water level is at least as high as the depth of the egg whites in the bowl.

Beat egg whites on low speed with a handheld mixer until mixture reaches 60 C (140 F) on an instant-read thermometer. Do not stop beating while the bowl is in the skillet or the egg whites may overcook.

Beat on high speed for 5 minutes.

Remove bowl from skillet and add vanilla extract.

Beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes longer to cool. Use within a few hours.

Serve any leftover frosting as a dip for fresh fruit.

Sugar-Coated Almonds

In an ungreased baking pan, roast 875 ml (3 1/2 cups) sliced almonds in a 190 C (375 F) oven for 10 minutes, turning pan and stirring halfway through baking time.

In a large pan, bring 250 ml (1 cup) sugar and 500 ml (2 cups) water to a boil; add almonds and stir.

Sugar will crystallize; keep stirring and then it will caramelize; remove from heat and spread almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

When cool and dry, break up and sprinkle on top of cupcakes. Store any extra almonds in an airtight container. They are great for snacking, in popcorn or as a topping for ice cream.

If anybody bakes these, please share the results/experiences. They sound great, albeit a pain in the butt.

Recipe Source: Oxford Review

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