Joy the Baker

Raspberry Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache

May 19, 2008

Kids between the ages of 3 and 7 are pretty amazing.  They’re little screaming, snotting, jumping, and crashing balls of honesty.  If they don’t like you, you know it.  If they recognize you for the poopoo head that you are, they’re not afraid to tell you- to your face, in ear piercing tones.  They haven’t yet developed the ability to filter their opinion of you.  It’s simultaneously refreshing and completely unsettling.

That’s why, whenever I meet new kids, I come with cupcakes.  Not just cupcakes, but cupcakes with sprinkles.  It works every time.  It’s irresistible.  It’s my dirty little trick.  Walk into their house with cupcakes and a smile on your face, and you’ve got an instant friend.  And when they come and thank you for the cupcake with chocolate all over their face- well, there’s nothing better.

These cupcakes are dinner party perfect.  They’re light and delicate with the flavors of almond and fresh raspberry.  Great for adults and not too overpowering and strange for kids.  The chocolate ganache is not too sweet or heavy and spreads on the cupcake with a beautiful sheen.  Kids absolutely love them, but they’re sophisticated enough to enjoy with coffee long after the kiddies have gone to bed.  Thank you Courtney, Bill and cutie Macallan for a beautiful dinner.

Raspberry Almond Cupcakes

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makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup fresh raspberries, roughly chopped

Put a rack in the middle of the oen and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt inside a bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg and almond extract.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in 3 batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until incorporated.  Fold in the raspberries.

Divide the batter among lined muffin cups.  Bake until pale golden and a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Turn cupcakes out onto a rack to cool completely.

Spread frosting on cupcakes once cooled.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)

1/4 cup heavy cream

Put chocolate chips in a small bowl.  Bring cream to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan.  Pour cream evenly over chocolate.  Let stand for one minute to soften, then stir until smooth.  If frosting is too loose to spread, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, frosting will continue to thicken as it stands.

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