Light, airy, crunchy almonds and moist... and the filling oh , man oh man
When I read my friend Bea's "homemade white cake recipe", my mouth started to drool... I could actually taste the moistness! I was correct, the best homemade white cake ever!!
I decided to incorporate her cake recipe with a baking idea I had been mulling around with for a few weeks in preparation for Easter. These cupcakes are so light and airy, just enough toasted almonds for the crunch, and the filling!!! No artificial anything in this recipe, all natural and DELICIOUS and very, very easy!!! Ready to make some?
Here we go:
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup natural applesauce
Omit the vanilla, substitute 1-1/2 tsp. Pure almond extract
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
8 oz cream cheese (I used Neufchatel)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4-5 Tbls strawberry simple syrup (directions below)
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (measure after pureed)
To make the strawberry simple syrup, place 2-3 strawberries cut in half in a small saucepan. To the pan add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil till all the sugar has dissolved and the syrup is now colored a beautiful red/pink. Let simmer for a couple of more minutes. Turn off heat, remove the strawberries (you can incorporate these into your puree, or do what I do... POP THESE BABIES IN YOUR MOUTH), let syrup cool.
As the syrup is cooking, toast your almonds I usually use a small saute pan, dry heat; saute for a minute or so till almonds start to golden nicely. TURN OFF HEAT. Nuts burn faster than Snookie can whip out the mascara I tell you!! Set aside.
Prep your cupcake tins. Line them with liners, and set aside.Prepare your cake recipe using my variations above. The nuts should be cool now, chop them finely and add to your cake batter. Fold in the chopped almonds.
Preheat oven to 350F. Fill your cupcake tins 2/3 of the way full. Tap the pans gently on a flat surface to ensure no air bubbles remain and your cupcakes rise evenly. Bake for 22-24 minutes or till cake tester comes out clean. Mine took approximately 22 minutes. Remove from oven, and place on cooling rack to cool for a few minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, remove them from the tins and place directly on cooling racks.
As cupcakes are baking, prepare your filling. Start by using softened butter and cream cheese (room temperature). Using your food processor or silver bullet etc., puree your strawberries. Set aside.
In your stand up mixer or mixer of choice, using your whisk attachment, add your cream cheese and your butter. Whip till nice and fluffy. Next add your confectioner's sugar, mix well. Finally add your pureed strawberries and your simple syrup. Mix for a few minutes till all the strawberries have been incorporated and the filling is a beautiful pastel pink. Set bowl in refrigerator to chill till ready to use.
The cupcakes should be baked now. Take out of the oven and lay on cooling rack to cool for 15-20 minutes.
Using a cupcake plunger (new gadget, LOVE IT), make a nice hole in the cupcakes to prepare for the filling. Or make a hole using the gadget of your choice.
Place your amazing light filling into a piping bag or ziplock bag. Fill your cupcakes and decorate with fresh strawberries or sparkly sugar OR BOTH!!
Place on a pretty platter and get ready for COMPLIMENTS GALORE and definitely empty platters!!!
*Note: this was the first time I used my plunger above. I didn't consider how LARGE the holes were, so I will definitely be doubling my filling recipe next time I make these*
I know... I'm telling you, we couldn't stop ourselves!!
Look at how moist these cupcakes are...
Yield: 22 Cupcakes
Dishin with Didi