Now after three years of 'independent living' in college I've had my fair share of 'quirky characters', mold-on-the-walls-squalor and run-in's with the landlord. Enough to tell the grand-kids a few stories anyway. I'm too old (and grumpy) for that kind of malarky and was delighted to get an offer to move in with two girls from work. They are both really nice, but you just never know when you are living with other people. I mean, I know them but I don't KNOW them. And of course I think I'm so easy to get along with but I would think that wouldn't I?! Maybe I'm actually really irritating.... ANYWAY I've gone on a tangent to nowhere- back to the point. I moved in last weekend and was pretty nervous, sitting in the kitchen trying to look at home when I saw *Gasp* the Primose Bakery Book. I knew then that I'd get on fine!
Amaretto is a sweet almond liqueur, the kind you could imagine the models sipping in a Chanel perfume ad. A bottle is fairly expensive (near €30) so unless you are going to treat yourself to a few drinks over the holidays I'd recommend using good quality almond extract. You won't get exactly the same sweetness, but that delicate almond flavour will come through.
I thought the recipe made way too much icing and syrup. I iced two dozen buns with the same quantities the recipe said would ice 12. I also thought the icing was too light with the amount of milk in the recipe so I reduced the milk here.
For the cupcakes
220g butter softened
360g caster sugar
250g self raising flour
240g plain flour
1 tsp amaretto
75g caster sugar
1/2 tsp amaretto
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g icing sugar
1. Beat the sugar and butter until pale. Sift the flours in a separate bowl. Add the eggs one at a time with a generous tablespoon of the flours, beating well after each addition.
2. Mix the milk and amaretto in a jug. Add slowly to the cupcake mixture with the beater on slow. Finally fold in the flours until incorporated to make a light batter.
3. Spoon into cupcake pans (the recipe should make around 24).
4. Bake at 180oC for 15-20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile make the syrup by slowly heating all the ingredients in a pan. Allow to cool. When the cupcakes are golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean, take them out of the cupcake pan and leave to cool for around 5 minutes. While still warm dip the tops in the syrup for a few seconds. Leave to dry.
6. Now make the buttercream. Cream the sugar, butter and milk with an electric beater together for about 4-5 minutes, no less, unless pale and there are no butter lumps.
7. Pipe or spread over the cupcakes.