Chocolate Cupcakes With Salted Almond Icing

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I discovered this recipe a couple of weeks ago while having a look through ZaPop’s copy of The Daily Telegraph Newspaper. It was in the “Eat well” section. There was also an article by Grant Jones called “Season to Taste”, he writes
“A little salt used at the right time in the cooking process can go a long way”.
I completely agree with the above statement as this cupcake recipe below by Marion Grasby, Masterchef combines salty and sweet in just the right proportions to tantalise one’s tastebuds.

The temptation for baking these cupcake’s had been hovering in my kitchen for a couple of weeks as I had kept the article and recipe aside from ZaPop’s newspaper when I discovered them those few weeks ago.

I found these cupcake’s didn’t bake up like a standard cupcake they were a little more crisp on top (not that, that was a bad thing) probably because the recipe does not use flour. In fact the recipe I believe is actually gluten-free provided you use pure icing sugar in the icing, so everyone gets to enjoy this delicious recipe.

Here is what you need

INGREDIENTS

200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), roughly chopped

150g unsalted butter, chopped

2 tbsp brandy (I only used 1 tbsp. just to be safe but I would recommend the 2)

4 eggs, separated

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup ground almonds

1/3 cup natural almonds, sliced

SALTED ALMOND ICING

125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste instead)

1/2 tsp almond essence (I did not use almond essence)

1 tsp sea salt flakes

2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 170C. Double line a 12-hole (80ml/1/3 cup) muffin pan with paper cases.  (I filled 14 paper cases)

Place chocolate, butter and brandy in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes or until combined.
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Cool for 15 minutes.

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, sugar and 2 teaspoons of water on highspeed for 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Fold in chocolate mixture, then fold in ground almonds.

In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold one-third into chocolate mixture until just combined, then fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.

Divide batter among paper cases and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool cupcakes in pan.

To make the icing, use an electric mixer to beat butter, vanilla, almond essence and salt until pale and fluffy.

Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until well-combined. Cover surface of icing with plastic wrap to prevent it drying out. Set aside.

Stir icing to a spreadable consistency, if necessary, then spread over cakes. Top with sliced almonds to serve.

Recipe: Marion Grasby, MasterChef

Below you will see how crisp my cupcake’s looked on top, infact Zadada thought they were biscuits when he first saw them come out of the oven.
I would love someone else to try this recipe and let me know the outcome of texture on top they get. Regardless of the texture these cupcake’s were a delight to eat and I will happily make another batch very soon. I think they are a delicious cupcake for adults.

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I hope you get to make and enjoy a batch of these soon.

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