Choc Chip and Almond Cupcakes

21 Feb

After watching  a charming DVD called The Human Centipede, I needed something sweet and wholesome to rehabilitate my brain and re-inflate my shrivelled soul. And what could be more comforting than chocolate chip and almond cupcakes?

I had a very glamorous assistant to help me with this recipe. His name is Al. Because he probably wouldn’t want his face splashed across the interwebz, here’s an artist’s impression of us cooking together – based loosely on a still from the music video “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon:

“You can call me Al,” Paul Simon seems to say, brandishing some Sainsbury’s chocolate. (So that’s why he’s soft in the middle!) Please note his hairnet. We take elf and safety extremely seriously here at Hudson Towers.

This recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly Complete Book of Cupcakes and Baking

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

125g butter, melted

2/3 cup ground almonds

3/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup plain flour

100g dark eating chocolate, chopped finely

1/4 cup double cream

100g dark eating chocolate, chopped,  extra

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 oC. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan.

2. Place egg whites in a bowl and beat with a fork. Stir in butter, ground almonds, sifted icing sugar and flour, and chopped chocolate.

3. Bake cakes about 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.

4. Meanwhile, combine cream and extra chocolate over heat until combined. Stir until smooth. Stand until thick. Spoon mixture over cupcakes.

Separating the egg white and yolk is always fun. Above is the yolk, and below is the white:

This is not one of the more visually-arresting shots.

Lovely ground almonds. The parmesan cheese of the baking world.

Chocolate. Expertly chopped by Al. It was incredibly difficult not to scoff the lot at this stage.

The recipe couldn’t be simpler. Just give the ingredients a quick mix…

… And that’s it. The recipe uses a surprisingly small amount of flour. I imagine the cakes will be quite light and fluffy in the middle.

And lo! They are. While it looks a little like a rock cake, it has none of the heft. It’s like a prop from an action movie – You could throw it at Bruce Willis’s head and it would bounce right off rather than knocking him out.

Melting double cream and extra chocolate to form a rich topping. (Not pictured: cheeky fingers dabbling in the bowl.)

The creamy chocolate shines when it’s first added…

… Before hardening to a slightly crisper (and matte) top.

VERDICT

Taste:

Delicious. The cake is light and spongy while the chocolate chips give a sweet kick. The chocolate topping is lovely too.

Recipe pros:

Almost impossibly easy, and uses few ingredients.

Recipe cons:

None. I just wish I’d made more.

Now perhaps you’ve had Paul Simon stuck in your head since I first mentioned him at the beginning of this post. If so, lance that popular musical boil by watching this YouTube video:

Skip to 2:10 for the piccolo solo, followed by the nifty synchronised footwork. Imagine that with a spatula and raw eggs, and it’s almost exactly what was going down in my kitchen. Just call me Betty.

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One Response to “Choc Chip and Almond Cupcakes”

  1. René Lavanchy February 23, 2011 at 22:03 #

    You watched The Human Centipede? You’re braver than me. I wouldn’t want to.

    We still have ground almonds from Annette’s time. I can’t quite bear to throw them out.

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