In a bit of a funk, lately.
We're on the edge of a big transition, but the future is unknown.
Having a hard time putting energy into things, including blogging. And etc.
I have so much good stuff up my sleeve though, and when I start it I always think "I can't WAIT to blog this!"
Then I look at my camera a week later and I took three pictures of the process, only two of which are any good, and no pics of the finished product.
Because I already ate it.
All of it.
Oh well. These are the last 3 of 24 almond mousse cupcakes I made for a baby shower. The theme was nautical.
The starfish were marzipan.
Almond Mousse Cupcakes
For the marzipan starfish (from Emeril):
8 ounces almond paste
1 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
4 tablespoons corn syrup
For the cakes:
2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For the almond mousse (also from Emeril, the man knows his almonds):
5 oz almonds, lightly toasted and cooled
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 tablespoons warm water
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
2 sticks butter, softened
3 - 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
Make the marzipan starfish in advance. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat up the almond paste with 1 cup of the confectioner's sugar. Mix until it is incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and beat until incorporated also. Add the corn syrup and combine well. Mixture will still be crumbly, but should hold together if pressed. Turn the mixture out onto a clean surface and knead until it comes together. If it becomes too sticky, add more confectioner's sugar. You should have a smooth dough, which you can then shape as you like. Top with raw sugar for texture.
Make the almond mousse in advance as well. Blend the almonds and 2 tablespoons of the confectioner's sugar into a paste in a food processor. Beat the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar together until soft peaks form. Meanwhile, in the top of a double boiler combine corn syrup and water and whisk until smooth. Add egg yolks and amaretto; place over the top of a simmering pan and beat with an electric mixer until very thick and ribbons form. Continue to beat until cool. Add in the vanilla and whipped cream and fold together. Finally, fold in the reserved almond paste. Chill at least 4 hours.
Day of, make your cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350, line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Beat your butter and sugar together about 3 minutes. Add your eggs, beating well between each addition, about 1 minute. Combine buttermilk and almond extract in separate bowl (I just use a measuring cup). Combine flour, powder and salt in a separate container. Add to mixer in batches, switching back and forth between dry ingredients and wet (I usually do 3 batches dry, 2 batches wet). Once all are added turn off mixer and finish mixing by hand.
Bake 20 - 25 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick.
Finally, make frosting. Beat confectioner's sugar and butter together for 3 minutes. Add almond extract and food coloring (I used 2 dabs blue gel and one dab green). Add in milk. Beat one minute more.
Assembly: Fill cupcakes with mousse, piping it into the center. Frost. Place a starfish on top. Ta da!