Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Almond Praline Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

I couldn't believe the list of ingredients when we made these, 7 eggs and a TON of almond paste. But it worked and these have a nice, sophisticated taste. Plus, I love how the praline looked on top!


1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp
3 7-ounce packages almond paste, crumbled into 1-inch pieces
7 large eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 tsp. almond extract

Almond praline
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whole almonds, toasted

Mascarpone frosting
12oz mascrapone cheese
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pans with 12 paper liners.

Whisk the flour,baking powder and salt in bowl. Using a heavy-duty mixer, blend the brown sugar and butter in large bowl. Beat in almond paste, 1 piece at a time. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts. Fold in the dry ingredients. Pour batter into cupcake liners till 2/3 filled. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Test cupcakes by inserting a toothpick into the middle. They are done when cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make the praline, line a baking sheet with foil. Stir sugar and 1/4 cup of water in medium sauce pan over med-low heat until sugars dissolves. Increase the heat; boil without stirring until deep amber, swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush occasionally. Mix in nuts. Pour onto foil and let cool. Peel off praline. Chop praline coarsely.

To make mascarpone frosting, beat all ingredients in large bowl just to soft peaks.

Spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and top with praline.

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