Sunday, 30 March 2014

Almond, amaretto and raisin cupcakes

There are many ways to induce me to buy something but one of the quickest is to make the small bottle a replica of the large therefore making it look cute in comparison.  I realise on reading this some of you will be thinking ‘what on earth is she on about’ whereas others will be nodding, thinking, ‘yeah, I totally get that’.  To cut a long story short I bought a miniature of Disaronno on a whim in a supermarket. (The egg in the photo is to illustrate how tiny and cuuuuuuuute the little bottle is!)

Having purchased my cute miniature I had to come up with a way to use it.  For those that haven’t tried it, Disaronno is a brand of amaretto, an almond liqueur.  Instantly I started thinking about an almond based cupcake so adapted my orange and almond cupcake recipe by losing the orange and replacing it with liqueur soaked raisins. I do have a fondness for booze soaked raisins and see no reason why they should only feature in Christmas baking.

Mr CC always announces loudly, lest I forget his views on the matter, that the best frosting/buttercream is cream cheese based.  Seriously.  He says this whenever the subject comes up on cookery shows or in conversation.  I get it: he likes cream cheese frosting.  All the (not so) subliminal messages must have worked because what’s on this cupake?  Cream cheese frosting!  It works well here as it holds it own against the bold flavour of the cupcake whilst adding another flavour and texture.  A lighter buttercream could get lost.

The cupcakes took on a little more colour than I’d normally like due to being overbaked by 3 minutes (which didn’t thankfully affect their taste or texture).  How can I be so precise?  Because I was hoovering and didn’t hear the timer; when I did it had been beeping for 3 minutes!  That’ll teach me for trying to multitask.  Kids – don’t be like me.  Don’t hoover and bake; it isn’t worth it.  This is actually one of the things Mr CC mocks me for over any other: refusing to accept that some items are designed to be mobile.  Hence, our cordless phone sits in the base unit and is never anywhere near me when it rings and, why our kitchen timer – with a clip on the back so it can attach to anything – was in the kitchen beeping away while I was hoovering the bedroom.  I’d like to say I’d learned my lesson, but.......

While the Disaronno is a dominant ingredient of the cupcake it’s worth noting that the entire 18 cucpakes use only one a miniature bottle, so if you’re not keen on alcohol please don’t be discouraged from this recipe.  Also, there is only 1 tablespoon of alcohol that isn’t cooked.

The Disaronno plumped up the raisins and made them much juicier, almost like berries.  One of my eaters, who didn’t know the method for making the cupcake, commented on this; I always think if someone notices without prompting then it must be true! 


For the sponges:
150g raisins or sultanas
4 tablespoons amaretto liqueur – I used Disaronno, but you could use rum or brandy if you prefer
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
190g plain flour
75g ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the frosting:
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
450g icing sugar
200g cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
1 tablespoon amaretto (Disaronno) liqueur


Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan oven 150°C/340°F/gas mark 3.5

Line two cupcake pans with 18 paper cases.

About an hour before baking, or the night before if you remember, soak the raisins in the amaretto.

Now make the sponge: beat together the butter and sugar until light and pale.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Beat in the flour, almonds, and baking powder.

Gently stir in the raisins, including any liquid that has not been absorbed.

Spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for approximately 22 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Leave to cool.

Now make the frosting: beat the butter until soft.

Add the icing sugar and cream cheese and stir together manually before going back to the stand mixer – this stops the icing sugar clouding up!

Beat until well combined.

Beat in the amaretto.

Spoon into a piping bag and, if the frosting is very soft, don’t be afraid to chill it for ten minutes before piping.

Pipe over the cupcakes.

Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Laura Denman said...

These sound delicious. I don't drink but I think alcohol in cakes and chocolates is gorgeous. Plus, I have those cupcake cases! And I totally get what you mean about cute miniatures =)

Charlene F said...

Grown up cupcakes that looks lush x

Gloria Baker said...

This is my type of cupcakes and these look stunning:)

Kezia said...

I totally agree - things are so much cuter in small bottles or tins! Definitely makes me more likely to buy. These cupcakes look delicious - I love raisins in cake!

Rosita Vargas said...

Ohh es un cupcake de lujo con pasas uvas es mi preferido,abrazos

Katie said...

That mini bottle is so cute! Love the sound of these, armaretto is one of my favourite flavours. That frosting looks so creamy too

Sally Sellwood said...

oh... super cute! I'm with you. Love the whole hoovering while baking scenario that you've conjured up!

Soo said...

Mr CC is correct - cream cheese frosting is the best!!

anna @ annamayeveryday said...

Those look so delicious,squidgy and perfect!

Maggie said...

I agree raisins soaked in alcohol taste much better. I am with Mr CC cream cheese frosting is the way to go, we love it. Fabulous cupcakes.

Stephanie Burton said...

My other half absolutely adores Disarrono so I'm going to have to bake a batch these for him.
I have taken note of your warnings though, and will definitely not attempt hoovering at the same time. To be extra safe, perhaps not even on the same day!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

You did buy two mini bottles right? One for the cupcakes, the other a 'bakers bonus'?!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Kate

You insult me with your question! Of course I bought two - they may be priced individually but we all know you can't buy just one!

Happy baking!

Cakelaw said...

LOL, I go for the cute bottles too! These cupcakes sound delish.

Choclette said...

Oh wonderful. I'm a complete sucker for Amaretto and totally understand the whim to buy the cute mini bottle. Not only do they sound completely delicious but they look adorable too - great cupcake cases.

snowy said...

They look good CC, and I love amaretto. Definitely with Mr CC about cream cheese topping - looks so luxurious!

Lucy said...

Oh these have so many of my favourite flavours in! Delicious :)