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Monday, 13 August 2007

Pistachio Nut Cupcakes

I just love the colour of these cupcakes, the sponge with little flecks of green from pistachios and a slight hint of green in the icing.

Children adore cupcakes and I can't think of any adult who can't resist a cupcake now and again, can you? The paper cases I used were muffin ones, they are larger than cupcake paper cases in my store cupboard, perhaps greed took over here on my part (!)

If I were baking these for a children's party, I would use smaller cupcake cases. They are big enough for little children without them leaving half a cupcake behind uneaten. What fun for the children to have a go at baking these with you? I'm sure they would love sprinkling little sugar flecks over the icing and placing a chocolate button on top. I always try to make sure all my ingredients are taken out of the fridge to come to room temperature before starting baking. This makes the creaming of butter and sugar together easier, I'm all for that making light work of a job if possible. If you don't want to add nuts due to allergies, just increase the flour to 225g (8 oz). I used Sugar Flair Paste edible colouring for the icing, which I find very good. I just dip the tip of a cocktail stick into the coloured paste and gingerly add to the icing, mixing and adding until I have the acquired colour. If you don't want this amount of cupcakes halve the recipe and it will still work out fine.

The picture below shows the texture of the sponge with those glorious flecks of green Pistachio nuts.

Here is the recipe if you would like to bake these cupcakes too.

Pistachio Nut Cupcakes

Makes approx 18 cupcakes (more if you use smaller cupcake cases)

50g (2 oz) pistachio nuts, finely ground in a food processor
225g (8 oz) butter, softened
225g (8 oz) caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten lightly
175g (6 oz) self-raising flour, sifted
Few drops of vanilla extract
2 -3 tablespoons milk

1 egg white
225g icing sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Few drops of edible green food colouring
Sprinkles and little chocolate covered drops
Muffin paper cases 18
Muffin tins (12 hole and 6 hole muffin tin)


Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan-oven 180°C/Gas 6 – line the muffin tins with the paper cases.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla adding a little at a time until all incorporated. Fold in the ground pistachio nuts, flour and then the milk (you may need 2 tablespoons or all of the milk). Place spoonfuls of mixture into the paper cases; fill to about ¾ full in each.

Place into the preheated oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked, (all oven temperatures are different). They should be risen and golden in colour and if you’re still not sure insert a skewer into the middle of a cupcake and if it comes out clean they are cooked. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing: place the egg white into a bowl and add the sifted icing sugar gradually while beating it in. Beat in the lemon juice and add a few drops of green food colouring until you achieve a pale green. The icing should be thick but spoonable. Spoon the icing on top of the cooled cupcakes and add sprinkles and little chocolate covered drops. Leave for the icing to set before serving.

Note: if you’re unsure of using raw egg white in the icing, use powdered egg white as per instruction of packet or a couple of spoons of water instead.

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