Elegant yet tasty, just the way a cupcake should be.
Almond and Rose CupcakesServes: 12
Ingredients:125g (4 oz) butter, softened
125g (4 oz) caster sugar
150g (5 oz) self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
For the Topping:50g (2 oz) butter, softened
75g (3 oz) mascarpone cheese
200g (7 oz) icing sugar
1 tsp rose water
a few drops of pink food colouring
12 crystallized rose petals
Method:Cream together the butter and caster sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and fluff. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly to combine after each addition (if desired, add a tablespoon of flour with each egg as this will prevent the mixture from curdling). Sift in the remaining flour, mixing it in gently, then add the milk and the almond extract.
Line the wells of a 12-well muffin tin with silicone or paper cases. Spoon the batter into these, filling them no more than 2/3 full. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF, Gas Mark 4) and bake for about 20 minutes. After this time, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the topping, beat together the butter, mascarpone cheese, icing sugar, rose water and a few drops of the food colouring until the mixture is smooth and firm.
Use this mixture to ice the tops of the cupcakes with swirls. Decorate the top with the crystallized rose petals then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour before serving.