Sunday, 12 July 2009

Maraschino Cupcakes: A wondrous invention.

Sometimes I invent food. Not a lot, but sometimes. Like the time I invented the Land of Chocolate cake. I haven't made it yet, but it will be AMAZING. But, yeah. Food invention. Does anyone else do this? The food I invent tends to be cake-based, because I really like cake, but not always! This time, though, it's cake. Yep.

I love maraschino cherries, so I decided to make a cupcake version. But as maraschino cherries traditionally go in cocktails, the cupcakes had to be alcoholic in some way. Therefore, almond cupcakes with an amaretto and cream cheese frosting. OM NOM NOM.


Almond cupcakes (recipe adapted from here)
  • 110g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-2 caps/tsp almond extract
Preheat oven to 160 C. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake cases.
Put all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until batter is very light and fluffy.
Dump in cases. Bake for 20 minutes until golden, and firm and springy when you give them a little prod.
Allow to cool before decorating.

Cream Cheese frosting (recipe from here)
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g cream cheese, cold
  • 1 tbsp amaretto
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy- for at least 5 minutes.
Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

Pipe frosting onto the cakes and then top with a maraschino or cocktail cherry. A GLACE CHERRY IS NOT THE SAME THING.


These were awesome. The cake was fluffy and tasty, and the icing was sweet and flavoursome without being sickly. I still need to fine-tune the icing, though - it tasted incredible, but it was on the runny side. I think my error was using low fat cream cheese (habit) and probably not accounting for the amaretto. Next time, I want the icing to be more amaretto-y and thicker. I'm making these again for my birthday (my colleagues have ordered me, once I described them) so I will report back at the end of the month. :)
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