Not necessarily. I mean these cupcakes can be enjoyed any time of the day. It's just that they look so pretty and taste delicious with a cup of tea, therefore the name.
Since cherries are in season now, I had bought four boxes of these pretty and petite red juicy fruit and was looking for ways to bake with them. So when I came across this recipe in Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, I knew I had to bake these beauties ASAP! Cherries and almonds is anyways a hit combination.
This recipe calls for ground almonds and flour in equal proportions. Since this is my first bake using ground almonds, I was pleasantly surprised with how good they tasted. You really get the almond flavor here. I've used fresh cherries here with their stems and pits intact but you could use preserved cherries like Morello or Maraschino. They should work fine as well. Or, you can remove the stems and pits from the fresh cherries if you choose to.
The method for these Cherry and Almond cupcakes is quite different. It uses only egg whites and no other raising agents. You mix in the ingredients and leave the batter to rest for 20 minutes before baking. I was skeptical about whether the batter would even rise in the oven but I'm glad I was wrong. It did!
The original recipe makes 24 mini cupcakes but since I do not have a mini muffin tray, I've tweaked the recipe to make 12 standard size cupcakes.
Recipe Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cherry Almond cupcakes
70 grams / 2.5 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature plus more for greasing the muffin pan.
65 grams / 2 ounces all purpose flour plus more to dust the muffin pan
140 grams / 5 ounces unblanched almonds
100 grams / 3.5 ounces caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon coarse salt
5 large egg whites at room temperature
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cherry brandy(optional)
24 sweet cherries
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally and cook until butter is lightly browned and fragrant. Skim the foam from top and remove from the heat.
Finely ground the almonds and transfer to a bowl. Add in the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk all the ingredients to combine thoroughly.
Ad the egg whites and whisk until smooth. Stir in the brandy(if using) and the browned butter, leaving any burnt particles behind and whisk to combine. Let the batter rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F. Brush the muffin pan with butter and sprinkle with flour. Tap out the excess flour.
After the batter has rested, fill each prepared muffin cup with 2 tablespoons of batter. Push 2 cherries into the batter keeping stem side up. Spoon some more batter over the cherries to cover them.
Bake in the preheated oven till golden brown and a wooden skewer or a cake tester inserted near the cherries comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Keep the pan on a wire rack to cool. After 10 mins, run a small offset spatula or knife around edges to loosen the cupcakes. Turn out all the cupcakes on the wire rack and let cool completely.
Enjoy these pretty cupcakes with a cup of tea or coffee.
Storage Suggestions: Store them in an air tight container at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.