Whenever I feel my baking mojo is down,I turn to these simple bakes.They are my instant pick-me-ups.Whipping up a cake or a cupcake is no rocket science and for the same reason when they fail,I go into a slumber mode.I'd bookmarked these cupcakes from my favorite baking blog,Deeba's PAB and decided to try these as my final trial before deciding to take a break from baking as a whole and I am glad they came out superb.Phew,I can continue baking now:)
Filled with the goodness of Almond meal,with a bite of chocolate chip in each bite these are a true delight to bake and eat.I decided to pep it up a notch higher and decorated these with buttercream and ganache rosettes,both whipped up earlier for different bakes.
I still consider myself a novice when it comes to decorating.For the same reason,I attended a crash course in cake decorating at a talented bloggers' cake decorating workshop.I realized I knew how to pipe flowers and borders and shells etc but when it came to the real deal,I wasn't able to put it into practice.Subhashini Ramsingh,who blogs at Fondbites,patiently listened to my woes and tutored me well.Thanks to her,I don't feel as tensed anymore before piping designs.
Coming back to this cupcake,they taste good without the icing as well.Moist and petite,it would make for perfect snack box treats.If you decide to frost the cupcakes however,I'd suggest chocolate ganache.There's something about the pairing of nuts and chocolate which takes the finished dish a level higher.
Recipe source - PAB
Ingredients[makes 18 small cupcakes]
Almonds - 85 gms,whole
Brown/White sugar - 30 gms
Vanilla bean - 1/2 of one bean,seeds scraped
Slightly Warm milk - 220 ml
All purpose flour/Maida - 180 gms
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - a fat pinch
Unsalted butter - 100 gms
Sugar - 120 gms
Eggs - 2,room temperature
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Dark chocolate chips - 85 gms
Preheat oven to 180C.Line the muffin tray with paper liners.I have a 9 hole muffin tray so I used it twice to bake.
Pulse the almonds and sugar in 5 second spurts to a fine meal.Do not over process or else you'll end up with almond paste!
Scrape the seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean and stir into the warm milk.
Sift together flour,baking powder and salt.Mix in the almond meal.
Beat together butter and sugar till creamy.Mix in the eggs one by one followed by vanilla.
Alternately add flour-almond meal mix and milk beginning and ending with flour,flour in 3 lots and milk in 2.Fold in the chocolate chips,dusted with a tsp of flour for even mixing.
Divide the batter between the liners and bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For icing,I used buttercream and ganache.Used Wilton 1M and 2D nozzles.
Recipe for buttercream.
Recipe for ganache.