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Flourless Chocolate & Salted Almond Cupcakes

Flourless chocolate cupcakes with salted almond frosting.
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Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Author: Marion Grasby | MasterChef Australia magazine, May 2012 issue

Ingredients

  • For cupcakes:
  • 200 g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, roughly chopped
  • 150 g unsalted butter chopped
  • 2 tablespoon brandy substitute apple juice or grape juice, if serving to children
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 220 g 1 cup caster sugar
  • 120 g 1 cup ground almonds
  • 55 g ⅓ cup natural almonds, sliced
  • For frosting:
  • 125 g unsalted butter softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond essence
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 320 g 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

Instructions

  • For cupcakes: Preheat oven to 170C. Double line a 12-hole (80ml/ ⅓ cup) muffin pan with paper cases. Place chocolate, butter and brandy in a small saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes or until combined (I used a stainless steel bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water so I wouldn’t burn the chocolate). Cool for 15 minutes.
  • Using an electric mixer, whisk yolks, sugar and 2 teaspoons water on high speed until thick and pale. Fold in chocolate mixture, then fold in ground almonds.
  • In a clean bowl with a clean whisk, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold one-third into chocolate mixture until just combined, then fold in remaining egg whites until just combined. Divide among paper cases and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool cupcakes in pan.
  • For frosting: Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla, almond essence and salt until pale and fluffy. Add sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating until well combined. Cover icing with plastic wrap to prevent it drying out. Set aside while cupcakes cool. Spread over cakes when cooled. Top with sliced almonds to serve.