Recipe: almond cherry bombs
These are moist almond cakes, not overly sweet like some cupcakes can be, and very easy to make. The cherry jam settles at the base as a pleasant surprise, and makes even grown-ups lick the cupcake liner.
The fresh cherry on top makes me think of a cartoon bomb fuse, hence the name.
all measurements will always be American
1 C flour
1 C ground almonds
2 t baking powder
1/4 C butter, at room temperature
1 C sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t almond extract
1/2 C milk, plus a few extra teaspoons
1/2 C cherry jam or perserves
1/4 C icing or confectioner’s sugar
15 – 20 fresh cherries w/ stems (optional)
Preheat oven to 300F/150C
1. Line 18 muffin tins with paper cups (I use paper tulip liners made out of grease-proof paper or baking parchment – see below for instructions).
2. Sift together flour, ground almonds and baking powder in a small/medium bowl and set aside.
3. In large bowl, combine butter and sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.
4. Add eggs and extracts to the butter/sugar mixture and beat until silky and well-integrated.
5. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet mix, then 1/2 the milk; repeat and mix until well combined. Always end with addition of dry ingredients.
6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling to about 3/4 full. Spoon a 1/4 t. of cherry jam or a 1/2 piece of cherry on top of each cake. Don’t hang about at this stage – the baking powder starts reacting straight away, so if you leave to answer the phone, the baked cakes won’t rise (I learned the hard way).
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
8. Cool in tins for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
For decorating, you can do anything you like – add a bit of white icing, sprinkle of powdered sugar, etc. – but for a proper bomb, do as follows:
Lightly dust each cake with confectioner’s or powdered sugar. Prepare a small amount of white icing (1/2 C sifted confectioner’s sugar and a few teaspoons of milk, well mixed. You can also add some red food colouring if you’d like pink icing, and a drop of almond essence if you prefer. Drop less than 1/8 t. of icing into the centre of each cake. Press a fresh cherry into each and allow to set. Alternatively, drizzle icing across the cakes before pressing the cherry on top and sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds.
Tulip Cupcake Liners
You’ll need a roll of baking parchment or grease-proof paper and a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Pull about 6in of paper off the roll and cut, giving you a long rectangular strip of paper. Fold it into three equal sections, making three squares of paper. Slide the edge of the scissors or the knife blade into each crease and cut each section free. You’ll have three squares of paper. Repeat until you have one for each cake and a few spare, just in case. Press each square into your muffin tins – they will fold into pretty formations naturally – press them in a bit until they are well settled in each cup. When you pour in the batter, this will help weight them down. The final result is a cup that can hold a bit more cake, and a lovely origami-like container that opens up to help contain every bit as the cake is eaten.