Thursday, April 10, 2008
Ricotta Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting AKA "Markus's all-time favorite cupcakes"
I found this recipe on the cupcake blog about a year ago, and they were an instant hit. Markus is a huge fan of almond desserts, so I thought it would be a safe bet. I had no idea it would become his all-time favorite, but this is the recipe he asks for on the rare occasions he makes requests. The original recipe called for adding berries (half of the batch with blueberries, half with raspberries), which I did faithfully the first time around with unpleasant results. We didn't like the sogginess of the cooked berries, and Markus decided they distracted too much from the almond goodness of the cake. The texture of these cupcakes is particularly nice, so why muck with greatness? The only warning I offer is that these are a bit high-maintenance to prepare. It is very important that the eggs and butter be room temperature (especially the butter), so plan ahead.
Ricotta Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 12-15 cupcakes / 350 degree oven
4 ounces almonds, slivered/peeled
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 stick butter, unsalted/room temp
4 eggs, large/room temp
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Grind almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until very fine. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer.
2. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar to the ground almonds while beating at low speed.
3. Add the ricotta and beat to combine.
4. While beating at low speed, add a tablespoon of butter at a time, waiting for the butter to incorporate until adding the next pat. The butter must be at room temperature or it will not incorporate well.
5. Stop mixer, scrape bowl, then beat at medium for about 2 minutes.
6. Crack eggs into a bowl and break up with a fork. At low speed gradually add eggs about a tablespoon at a time, waiting for the eggs to incorporate until adding the next bit.
7. Beat again at medium speed for about 2 minutes.
8. Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into bowl; whisk to combine.
9. With rubber spatula, fold flour mixture into cake batter until combined.
10. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, about 2/3s full.
11. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
Cream Cheese Frosting (I usually half this for one batch of cupcakes, and even then I have lots leftover when I use a decorative tip to apply frosting)
12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Bring butter to room temperature by sitting it out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency/sweetness you like.
Of course, no cupcake is a complete cupcake in this house without frosting and sprinkles (Ellie insists!), so our cupcakes tend to look the same even though we try a variety of recipes and flavor combos.