I decided that although the green tea cupcakes were soft and delicious, the teens and kids at the dinner I was taking them too might not like the distinctive green tea flavour in the icing. So flipping through what is fast turning out to be a wonderful new cookbook, Vegan and Gluten Free Baking, and found a simple cupcake recipe that I knew was sure to please. Almond is a popular flavour and it’s not hard to understand the reason behind that. It can be both subtle and powerful, and can be coupled with all sorts of other flavours from sweet to sour. Almond is great in main meals, and even nicer in desserts! But this was the first time I had ever paired almond with white chocolate. It was a delicious!
However, I was surprised that the original recipe asked for a whopping three tablespoons of almond extract. Almond extract is rather intense and I tend to use no more than a teaspoon of it at a time because that flavour is so pervasive. You don’t need a lot of it to get to taste it. So what I did was shrink that to about a tablespoon, and upped the other liquids the tiniest bit to account for the difference. I still found the flavour intense, although not in a bad sense. But next time I would suggest even using about a half a tablespoon and seeing how it goes.
But remember, if using less of one liquid ingredient something will have to be done with the others to compensate! Happy FF!
Adapted from Vegan and Gluten Free Baking’s
Makes: 10 standard, 15 small, Prep: 20 mins, Cook: 20-25 mins
- 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 4 tbsp g/f soy yoghurt
- 160ml plus two tablespoons extra soy milk*
- 160g caster sugar
- 1Tbsp almond extract
- 40g ground almonds
- 160g g/f plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 60g white chocolate (I used gluten and dairy free. Option here to use vegan white chocolate.)
- 100g g/f icing sugar
- 1.5 tbsp soy milk
- Flaked almonds, to decorate
*I added extra soy to account for using less almond extract
- Pre-heat oven to 180c (160c fan-forced) and line up to 2 cupcake tins with patty pans. My tins are smaller than standard ones, so I have to use two. You may only need one standard tin for this recipe.
- Place the oil, yoghurt, milk, sugar, almond extract and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and then beat until the mix is well combined.
- Divide the mixture between the patty pans and bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into their centres comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
- To make the icing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl either in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and let cool for a minute or two before beating in the icing sugar and soy milk. You want to spread this icing over the cupcakes while it’s still warm and easier to spread.
- Top each cupcake with flaked almonds.