Monday, 25 July 2011

Ameretto and Cherry Cupcakes with amaretti biscuits

My work friend Lina has just retured from Italy and retured with two packets of Amaretti biscuits for me to use in my baking, this prompted me to bake my current favourite cupcakes. I call these my "grown up cupcakes" as they are quite rich and contain a good glug of ameretto, cherries and chunks of amaretti. biscuits.
Look how pretty the biscuits are!

I think these work really well in normal cupcake size as an indulgent treat, but for occasions such as partys or work, when people don't have time to sit down and eat, the bite sized ones are perfect.

Little bite size cupcakes.

Ameretto and Cherry Cupcakes with amaretti biscuits

Cupcake Ingredient's

125g Margarine
125g Caster Sugar
3 eggs
80g Self raising flour
45g Ground almonds
Splash of milk
Teaspoon Almond essence
Cherries cut into small pieces
Broken up amaretti biscuits


Pre heat oven to 170oC

Cream the margarine and caster sugar untill light and fluffy, I do this for at least 5 minutes until it has almost doubled in size. Add the eggs, with a little flour and mix untill combined. Sieve the flour and fold this in. Add a splash of milk, ground almonds, almond essence, cherries and amaretti biscuits. Fold untill combined, be careful to not over mix. Spoon the cake mixture into cupcake cases. Bake for appox 20mins, untill they are light golden and the sponge springs back when touched. leave to cool for a few minuets in the cupcake tray, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

For ease and to obtain even sized cupcakes, I use an icecream scoop, like so!

I love how pretty the mixture looks with the cherries showing through like glowing red gems.

Buttercream Ingredients

250g Icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml milk
5ml Ameretto or 2.5ml Almond essence if not wanting to use alcohol


Beat the icing sugar and butter together using an electric mixer on medium speed untill the mixture comes together. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and add the milk and ameretto, once incorporated, turn the mixer up to a high speed and beat until light and fluffy, at least 5 minuets. It is now ready to pipe on top of the cupcakes.

The buttercream, before adding the milk and Ameretto.

I am very lucky to own a kitchen aid, it was a gift from my Nanna a few years ago and is my favourite thing I own! Altough it makes the biggest cloud of icing smoke when making buttercream, if anyone has any ideas how I can stop this please leave commets below, I have tried everything I can think of. 

The finished cupcake, with its lovely light buttercream.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Chocolate chunk cookies

I made these cookies for a night shift at work. Food always vanishes in seconds at work so I made loads, thinking they would last for some time. I could not have been more worng, they were finished in all of about 10 minuets!

They were soft, chewy and full of lovely large chocolate chunks, just what you need during a night shift. I have made these may times, using all different kinds of chocolate. I like to use a mixture of milk, dark and white chocolate and I use thick chocolate bars so that I end up with large pockets of chocolate. These also work well with chocolate orange, nuts and rasins.

I use the hummingbird bakery recipe, I find it to be perfect everytime.


225g unsalted butter
350g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
225g chocolate

Makes 24 cookies


Preheat oven to 170'c.

Mix butter and sugar untill light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Continue mixing adding the vanilla extract. Add the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and mix untill a smooth dough is formed. Stir in the chocolate.

Arrange small balls of cookie dough on greased baking sheets, making sure that they are well spaced out as they do spread while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 10minuets, or untill flat and the edges are golden brown. This will give you a soft chewy centre, if you prefer a crisper cookie, cook for a few minutes longer. Leave to cool slightly on the baking sheet as they will be quite soft and bendy untill cooled, finally transfer onto a cooling rack untill completly cold.

I hope you enjoy them as much as my work colleagues!