Sniff Sniff Hooray! Baking Up a Storm – Almond Orange Cupcakes

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After deciding several days prior that we were going to bake some surprise cupcakes for my grandparents and relatives, my mum and I baked up a storm Saturday morning – 4 dozen cupcakes in less than 2 hours, baby! 😀  After my first cupcake heartbreak and disaster, I was determined to kick some serious butt.  I was in excited conniptions for days, anxiously awaiting to redeem myself – and to just whip out the mixer and measuring cups.  Some famous chefs hate baking.  I love it.  Methodically measuring and sifting and spooning batter is surprisingly soothing and calming.  Not to mention it challenges you – to simultaneously be creative and precise at the same time. 

After a quickie trip to Bulk Barn last Thursday to nab a few extra things, I had everything I needed to whip up 48 cupcakes.  First up on the list: Almond Orange Cupcakes!!  They are so awesome that they deserve capitalization.  I’ll most likely adjust how long they’re in the oven the next time I bake them (I’ll take them out a few minutes earlier, I think), but oh man are these ever AMAZING.  The texture is fantastic with the crunch of almonds and the insides have larger air pockets which make for an airier cupcake.  And the smell of orange zest and toasted almonds is divine, oh my lord.  My brother loved them, my cousin loved them, and my grandma gasped at how fan-freakin’-tastic (my words, not hers, ha!) they smelled when she opened the container we gave her.  I think I redeemed myself just fine with these.  As the Gain laundry detergent commerical says, sniff sniff hooray! 😀

Recipe for Almond Orange Cupcakes

Ingredients (Makes 12)

  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • grated zest of 1 orange (be careful not to zest the white part of the peel; that part is the pith and will result in bitter cupcakes!)
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 3 tablespoons potato flour
  • about 1/3 cup of slivered almonds (you can adjust this amount based on how much almonds you want sprinkled on top of your cupcakes)
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (also known as powdered or icing sugar)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F, then line the cupcake pan with 12 paper liners.
  2. Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat for 5-10 minutes until thick and pale (*note: you’ll need to set the mixer speed higher as setting it on low won’t do the job unless you want to stand at the counter for half an hour).  Add the orange zest, then sift the ground almonds and potato flour into the mixture and fold in.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups and sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top.  Bake for about 22 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (*note: I would personally knock a few minutes off to make them even softer).
  4. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.

*****

Recipe taken from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake, 2007.  Photographs taken by me.

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