Saturday, 18 July 2009

Chocolate Almond Cupcakes With a Taste Of Summer

I wanted to try something different but I was told I had to make chocolate hehe. Well I wanted to do something that was different so added a wee bit of almond essence to the sponge and some summer fruits to some as was thinking 'summer tea'. Using chocolate butter icing, I did not use the piping bag this time, but guess it would of given them a more polished look. I also tried quark with the fruit - Quark for those who do not know is a curd cheese made from scalded whey, it is white soft and un-aged; it is kind of similar to fromage frais, naturally vegetarian and very low in fat. Quark is a must try! I really like as a low fat quick cheese cake substitute - a low fat digestive with a little strawberry jam topped with Quark or a chocolate Snack a Jack (rice cake) with Quark YUM! Oh if you are going to google Quark remember to put cheese or you get loads of Star Trek stuff haha. Anyway I am being distracted, here is the recipe:

Chocolate Almond Cupcakes

(makes approx 12)

4 oz 110g of margarine
4 oz 110g of caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tsp of baking powder
2 oz 60g of self raising flour
2 oz 60g of good quality cocoa powder
1/2 tsp of almond essence

Chocolate Butter Icing

8 oz 225g icing sugar
3 1/2 oz of butter/margarine
2 heaped tsp good quality cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla essence


Either cream sugar and margarine and mix in eggs or use electric whisk to combine three ingredient's. Add almond essence and mix in. Add flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix well by hand or using whisk. Divide mix between 12 standard cupcake cases (smaller than muffin cases) and bake at 160 c/325 f/gas 3 for 20 minutes or till firm and spongy!

To decorate:

Chocolate butter cream is made by creaming the icing, cocoa and margarine together and adding the vanilla to flavour.

Chocolate Sandwiches: cut a disc from top of cupcake fill with butter cream or Quark and replace lid, dust with icing.

Chocolate sprinkles: add a generous dollop of chocolate butter cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

Summer Tea: add a dollop of chocolate cream or Quark to cupcake and add summer fruits of your choice. A little tip if you wand to add a whole strawberry like I did slice a little from side of strawberry to leave a flat surface to rest on the cake, stops it rolling.

Okay now I need to eat one :)

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