Amaretto Easter Cupcakes and Crystallised Flowers
So, this is what I actually did:
- Went to the local art shop to buy myself a paintbrush.
- Beat a duck egg white (leftover from making marzipan) briefly in a small bowl.
- Put a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar in another small bowl.
- Gathered some primroses, a violet and a pansy from my garden (not many violets or pansy’s and didn’t want to denude the plants) – it’s important that if using flowers they are clean, ie have not been sprayed or been where dogs or motorised vehicles could have polluted them.
- Held the flowers by the stem and painted the tops and undersides with egg white.
- As soon as flower had been painted, dipped it in the sugar and sprinkled more over as needed with a teaspoon. Shook off the access then laid them down on a tray lined with baking paper to dry, cutting off the stem as I did so.
- Left to dry over night, then put into an airtight tin until ready to use.
- Soaked 60g raisins in 2 tbsp amaretto overnight.
- Melted 100g 85% dark chocolate
- Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 125g molasses sugar until pale and fluffy (the weather being so warm, I had no problems with hard butter for a change).
- Beat in 2 duck eggs.
- Sieved in 125g flour (1/2 wholemeal spelt, 1/2 white), 1 heaped tbsp cocoa, a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and 1 tsp baking powder.
- Stirred in about 1/3 of the melted chocolate and 1 tbsp Greek yogurt (0% fat).
- Mixed in the raisins and ameretto.
- Spooned half the mixture into 12 cupcake cases.
- Rolled out about 150g marzipan and used a 5cm circular cutter to stamp out rounds.
- Placed circles over the cupcake mixture, then covered with the remaining mixture.
- Baked at 180C for 17 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
- Added about 50g unsalted butter to the remaining melted chocolate.
- Beat in 50g icing sugar until all smooth and incorporated.
- Stirred in 2 tbsp amaretto.
- Attempted to pipe crosses onto the cakes, but only managed one before my nozzle fell out of the bag.
- Gave up on that idea and spread on with a palate knife.
- Placed a crystallised flower in the top of each cake.
These featured at another Easter tea eaten in a Cornish garden as well as on the Easter platters. The primroses were delicious, they had a very subtle but distinctive floral taste as well as a rather unexpected crunch. As a flavour combination, these ingredients worked really well together. The amaretto just enhanced the marzipan flavour and the alcohol soaked raisins added another level of richness with the chocolate bringing it all together very nicely. The cakes were moist and truffle like and rather filling – nothing wrong with that of course. The chocolate topping gave yet another dimension and unusually for me, was just the right consistency. The piping I have yet to master.
I am entering these for Julia Parsons annual Easter Cake Bake – a mouth watering feast for the eye, if ever there was one. You can see all the entries there from previous years, although this year’s round up has yet to be posted. In fact you still have three days left to enter if you feel so inspired.