September 04, 2011

Amaretto Cupcakes with Flambeed Pineapple

I came across a gem of a show one afternoon called Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard. I first heard of Eric and Patric Cox through Cox and Cookies and Cake. A master of cakes and patissier and a link with shoes - how could one not be intrigued to find out more! 

When I saw the first episode CUPCAKES, as always, I had to give it a go. Amaretto being an amazingly wonderful tipple, how could it not be amazing in cakes and little cakes at that! These have a wonderful taste, smell, texture - they are just absolutely divine! 
Since this recipe I have also made his Lemon Meringue cupcakes (with and without lemoncello) and Tiramisu cupcakes (my other half's favourite!)

For the cupcakes:
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
280g caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure almond extract
175g plain flour
30g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
120ml milk
50ml amaretto

  • For the flambéed pineapple
  • 1 small pineapple
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml amaretto
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

For the Cream Topping
400ml double cream
  • more amaretto!

For the Cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Mix in the both the vanilla and almond extracts.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and add a third of the flour mixture, followed by half the milk. Mix until combined then repeat with another third of flour and the remaining milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the paper cases, filling each three-quarters full - this will allow them to rise perfectly and not be domed shaped. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean

Transfer the tins to wire racks and immediately poke holes all over tops of cupcakes with a skewer or toothpick. Pour a teaspoon of amaretto over the top of each cupcake then allow to cool completely before removing from the tins (be careful with this - too much will be tasty but leave the cupcake very soggy including the cases - although I doubt you will have any complaints at all!!).  

For the flambéed pineapple  
Peel and core the pineapple and cut into chunks. Heat the sugar in a large pan over a medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar melts and turns golden brown. Add the pineapple and toss to coat.

Carefully pour the amaretto into the pan and immediately tilt to ignite the alcohol. (If using an electric stove, use a long match to ignite the alcohol.) BE CAREFUL if you have a small area above your hob - you may have to pull the pan off the burner when flames take over - BE CAREFUL not to pull off quickly with the liquid in the pan at extreme temperatures!

When the flames subside and the caramel melts, if there is an excessive amount of liquid strain a little away, then carefully stir in the cream, orange juice and vanilla seeds. Reduce the heat to medium and boil, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until thickened. 

Allow to cool completely before spooning the liquid from the pineapple mixture over the cupcakes.

For the Whipped Cream
Whip the cream to soft peaks and add a little amaretto (careful that you do not ruin the texture of the cream - so add slowly and mix well)

Spread the over the top of each cooled cupcake. (you don't need to pipe pretty patterns on these ones like I did - as the pineapple will just hide all of your work - but if you do..... make little nests to allow the pineapple to sit in!)

Finish by spooning a generous spoon of flambéed pineapple over the top to decorate and a little dusting of icing sugar.

Tips from Eric
Cupcakes should be made in foil cases as paper cases allow the cakes to dry out quicker

Baking Mad
thank you for Eric's Recipe
Other Eric Cupcakes:
Lemon Meringue

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