Recipe: Almond, Rosewater and Cardamom Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

This recipe is what happens when I make the almond milk from Less Meat More Veg, and then don’t know what to do with it.  It’s sort of adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, which I love to bits and will certainly review one day soon, but only sort of.  There are no photos, because when I made this last night I wasn’t quite happy with how the cakes turned out, so I took them all to choir to feed to unsuspecting choristers – and then it turned out that the texture had improved dramatically overnight and they were all gone without being photographed… which is a pity, because the raspberry icing is an amazingly bright shade of pink without a single skerrick of food colouring to be seen!

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220g blanched almonds
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp (30ml) rosewater + 1 tsp for the icing
1 cup plain flour
2 tbsp (30ml) cornflour (not the polenta kind – the starchy kind)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
1/4 tsp cardamon
pinch salt
100g raspberries
500g icing sugar

Now what will you do with it?

Make the almond milk (this can be done in advanced, and the milk stored in the fridge).  Put the almonds in a bowl with 400ml water, and leave for an hour or two if you have time. Once they have been soaked, or immediately, pour the almonds and water into a blender, and blitz until the almonds are very finely chopped.  Pour the liquid through a sieve into a jug or bowl, pressing as much moisture out of the almonds as you can.  Congratulations – you’ve just made almond milk, which one could use for a variety of healthy purposes, but since this is my blog, we are going to use it to make cake.

Preheat the oven to 180°C, and line one and a half trays of those teeny tiny miniature cupcake tins with paper cases.  You can make this in ordinary cupcake size, but they are little, sweet, and somewhat dense, so teeny tiny cupcakes are better.

Mix the almond milk with the oil, sugar and rosewater in a large bowl.  Sift in the dry ingredients and mix madly until smoothish.  Spoon your mixture into the paper cases, and bake for about 15 minutes or until well-risen, golden and cooked through.  Larger cakes will need longer – maybe 20-25 minutes.

Cool on a rack while you make the icing (they will sink back down a bit). To make the icing, mash your raspberries (or blend them) to a puree, and mix with the icing sugar and rosewater.  You might substitute a little lemon juice for some of the raspberries if you like a sharper flavour to your icing, but it’s actually pretty good as it is.  And very pink!  Pipe onto the cakes, because it always looks much cuter when icing is piped on top, though this is a softish icing and will collapse a bit.  Leave overnight if possible – these cupcakes taste a bit undercooked if even slightly warm, but are lovely and moist and dense when fully cooled.

Feed to unsuspecting colleagues or choristers.

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