Posts Tagged ‘almond’

  1. The nuts (revisited)

    OK, well both the Almond and Hazelnut versions ate so well that I’m definitely keeping them on the menu; bizarrely I think they’ll be even better as mini-cupcakes if that makes sense. But I’m going to have to do something about the caramelized nut decorations as they do not store well once on the cupcake. The nuts remain toasted and crisp but the caramel absorbs the moisture from the cake base and buttercream, and starts running off the topping within 12-18 hours. The whole thing still tastes fantastic but looks messy and unattractive.

    Options could include ‘water-proofing’ the caramelized nuts with with plain or milk chocolate, or foregoing the caramelization stage completely and decorating the cupcakes with chopped toasted nuts. Hmmm, I’ll try both and report back.


  2. Nuts!

    I made the caramelized almonds and hazelnuts last night, eating a fair few of them in the process I’ll be honest… Then I tested my recipes for Almond cupcakes and Hazelnut cupcakes, and I was really torn about whether they worked or not. Neither looked very interesting, and I made the almond ones too small I think, plus the decoration was pretty simple with just a few caramelized nuts perched on top of the nut-flavoured buttercream. I also think I need to increase the amount of Frangelico to give the hazelnut ones more oomph.

    Hazelnut cupcake

    Squirrel!

    So I went to bed, half-resigned to ditching them from the menu; after all, there’s the Bakewell Tart stunner for almond aficionadoes, and the Chocolate Hazelnut variety for the Nutella-lovers, so why do the single nut versions at all? But this morning, I tried one of the hazelnut ones, you know, forced it down with a cup of coffee as you do, and it was surprisingly good. The sponge was light and nutty, and the light chocolate-hazelnut buttercream had softened the crispy top slightly. Some of the caramel has dribbled off the nuts into the frosting but there was still crunchy caramel and toasted nuts remaining and it was all-in-all a very elegant cupcake (hate using that word about cake but it was that or ‘sophisticated’).

    Almond cupcake

    Simple but delicious

    If the almond one also eats well, then I could change the almond buttercream topping to a marzipan cut-out topping which will reduce the caramelized nuts ‘weeping’, and also ring the changes in terms of how all the nut cupcakes look (the pistachio version also has a buttercream topping with chopped nuts – coming soon!).

    All comments welcome!


  3. Re-inventing the Bakewell Tart

    Bakewell Tart cupcake

    Mr Kipling, eat your heart out!

    This was the second batch as I had to fiddle about with the icing to get it just right (the first batch, despite the messy icing, disappeared in record time!).

    These are Bakewell Tart cupcakes, consisting of  a rich butter sponge made with ground almonds and flavoured with almond extract, filled with raspberry jam, and iced with a white and chocolate feathered icing. I used a new recipe from Canada which I tweaked slightly, and the general consensus of opinion is that it’s a real winner. I made these at the same time as the Banoffee version (see next post) and they’re quite different, but equally delicious!