Chocolate Easter Cupcakes and Crystallised Flowers
Almost truffle like in their consistency and deliciousness, these chocolate amaretto Easter cupcakes are a real delight. Amaretto soaked raisins and a layer of marzipan surrounded by chocolate sponge and topped with amaretto chocolate buttercream. Crystallised spring flowers finish them off beautifully.
There were so many influences that went into the creation of these amaretto chocolate Easter cupcakes that I’ve rather lost track of them all. But bear with me.
Kath started me off with her crystallised violets. It all came flooding back, how I used to crystallise primroses every Easter when I was young. I haven’t done it for many many years now. But with Easter fast approaching, some holiday, a bit of nostalgia and with enthusiasm renewed, I wanted to try these again.
The first thing I had to do was go to our local art shop and buy myself a paintbrush. In terms of effort, that was the most time consuming bit. It’s actually very easy to make crystallised flowers, you just need time and space for them to dry out.
The next step is to pick the flowers. I gathered some primroses, a violet and a pansy from my garden. I didn’t have many violets or pansy’s and didn’t want to denude the plants. If you’re picking your own flowers it’s important to ensure they are edible ones. The also need to be clean and not sprayed or polluted by dogs or motorised vehicles. If you don’t have any suitable flowers for picking, it’s now relatively easy to buy edible flowers.
If you pick your own, leave the stems on as they act as a handle whilst you’re painting them. You’ll need to use tweezers to hold the flowers instead if you don’t have any.
So once you have the flowers, all you need to do is paint them with egg white and dredge them with caster sugar. Leave them to dry for twelve hours or so and they’re done. Keep them in an airtight tin and they should last for a few days.
Crystallised flowers give a rather delightful and unexpected crunch. Primroses are particularly delicious as they have a subtle but distinctive floral taste.
Amaretto Easter Cupcakes
Then I saw the recipe for Paul A Young’s Simnel Brownies and I knew I would be making those in the not too distant future. And indeed, here is my recipe for Easter brownies. But, as I’d set my mind on decorative flowers, brownies didn’t seem quite the thing. They would, in fact, have been an ideal entry for the April’s marzipan We Should Cocoa, but I already had this battenberg in mind for that.
However, the simnel idea stuck. Hmmmm, cupcakes would make a good showcase for crystallised flowers I thought. I could add marzipan in the middle and maybe use some raisins. OK, what to soak the raisins in? Well, that’s a no brainer, with the almond marzipan theme, it has to be amaretto.
I then saw Carl’s lovely hidden hearts, which made me think, rather than just adding chunks of marzipan, I could add a layer in the middle instead. All I had to do was roll it out and use a smallish cutter to fit the cupcakes exactly.
Dan Lepard also played his part, by piping crosses onto some of his Easter cupcakes. Peggy of Fake It ‘Til You Make It very kindly sent me a wodge of disposable piping bags after I broke the reusable one I got for Christmas on my very first attempt at piping macaroons. So thanks to Peggy, I thought I’d try Dan’s crosses.
These Easter cupcakes require some preparation on the day prior to baking them. So it’s best to plan ahead. If you’re going to make crystallised flowers, they will need several hours to dry. Also, the raisins will be much nicer the longer they soak in the amaretto. So try and get them soaking the day before if you can.
These amaretto chocolate cakes featured at another Easter tea eaten in my mother’s Cornish garden. And also on these Easter platters.
As a flavour combination, these ingredients work really well together. The amaretto enhances the marzipan flavour and the alcohol soaked raisins add another level of richness. And it’s all brought together very nicely with the chocolate holding centre stage – as it should at Easter. The cakes are moist and truffle like and also rather filling – in a good way. The chocolate topping gives yet another delicious dimension.
Other Easter Cupcakes You Might Like
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these amaretto Easter cupcakes, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Chocolate Amaretto Easter Cupcakes. PIN IT.
Amaretto Easter Cupcakes – The Recipe
Amaretto Easter Cupcakes
- 1 egg white
- caster sugar
- edible flowers (with stems if possible)
- 60 g raisins
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- 100 g 85% dark chocolate
- 125 g unsalted butter - softened
- 125 g molasses sugar
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 125 g flour (½ wholemeal spelt, ½ plain)
- 1 heaped tbsp cocoa
- a pinch of fine sea or rock salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp yogurt (I used 0% fat Greek yoghurt)
- 150 g marzipan
- remaining melted chocolate from the cakes
- 50 g unsalted butter - softened
- 50 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- Beat the egg white briefly in a small bowl.
- Place a couple of spoonfuls of caster sugar in another small bowl.
- Make sure your edible flowers are clean and dry.
- Hold the flowers by the stem and using a clean artist's paintbrush, paint the tops and undersides with the egg white.
- As soon as you've painted each flower dip it in the sugar and sprinkle more over as needed with a teaspoon. Shake off the access then lay them down on a tray lined with baking paper to dry. Cut off any stems at this point.
- Leave to dry over night, then put in an airtight tin until ready to use. They should last a few days.
- Soak the raisins in the amaretto overnight in a covered bowl. Give an occasional stir if you're passing.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl suspended over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water.
- Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Sieve in the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
- Stir in about ⅓ of the melted chocolate and the yoghurt.
- Mix in the raisins and any remaining ameretto.
- Spoon half the mixture into 12 muffin holder lined with cupcake cases.
- Roll out the marzipan and use a 5cm circular cutter to stamp out 12 rounds.
- Place over the cupcake mixture, then cover with the remaining mixture.
- Bake at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
- Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Add the butter to the remaining melted chocolate. If the chocolate has hardened, just place it back onto a pan of hot water.
- Sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Stir in the amaretto.
- Either use to pipe crosses onto the cakes or spread it over the tops with a palate knife.
- Place a crystallised flower on the top of each cake.
I am entering these chocolate Easter cupcakes 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.