I fancied making something a little different for the roleplayers this week. It was hot so I started thinking refreshing, lemon-y thoughts – and lo and behold, the good old Domestic Sluttery crew published a list of lemon & citrus recipes to try so I was set.
It’s probably old news for those of you who have been around the cooking blog world for a while but I’d never come across the idea of turning cocktails into cakes before so the amaretto sour cupcake idea by Knitting on Trains really tickled me. (I’ve only had the drink-y version once, in an American-style diner that we found in Hatfield after going for a wedding dress fitting. My word, that’ll be six years ago this autumn. Blimey. Anyway, I digress…)
There was a bit of a disaster with these. A while back, I’d bought myself a piping bag, thinking I could make elegant swirled icing like the ones on the proper version of this recipe, linked above. Well, I made my buttercream, but it was nudging 33 degree in the kitchen so I filled the piping bag and stashed it in the fridge until the cakes were cooled… Bad, bad idea. Bear in mind I was doing these in a rush between getting home from work and Jef leaving for roleplaying early evening – when I came to try to do the piping to find the icing was too cold and solid to shift, the whole lot nearly ended up in the bin 😦 Instead, I gritted my teeth, decanted the icing back into a bowl and used a spoon. Bugger. I will not be defeated, I will try again. Probably in the winter!
Amaretto Sour Cupcakes (makes 8-10)
For the cupcakes
- 120g plain flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 40g soft unsalted butter
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 120ml milk
- 1 large free-range egg
- Cherry jam (a few spoonfuls will do it)
For the buttercream frosting
- 250g icing sugar
- 80g soft unsalted butter
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Amaretto (or substitute 2 tsp almond extract and 4 tsp milk)
- Preheat oven to 180oC (160oC fan).
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, and add in the sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and butter. Combine well until the mixture has a sandy texture.
- Add in the milk gradually and mix until just incorporated. Add in the almond extract and egg and beat until just incorporated – don’t over mix.
- Spoon the mix into cupcake cases, only filling 2/3 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes (they’re ready when golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean).
- Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
- Use an apple corer* and a twisting motion to remove about a 1 inch deep section of the centre of each cupcake. Spoon in about a teaspoon of cherry jam, or enough to fill the hole.
To make the frosting:
- Beat together the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and amaretto (or substitute) until light and fluffy.
Using a piping bag to apply the frosting in a swirl, starting at the outside of the cupcake and spiralling inwards to the centre.Spoon icing very quickly over the cupcakes with one eye on the clock!!
(* Steph’s note – I don’t possess an apple corer, rats. With a bit of improvisation, I used the wide end of a piping nozzle instead. Success! See, the icing set was worth buying, grumble.)