Almond Cupcakes with Raspberry Glaze, Swiss Meringue, and Stacked Almond Cakes
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups superfine sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces milk
- Raspberry Glaze, recipe follows
- Swiss Meringue, recipe follows
- 48 Staked Almond Cakes, recipe follows
- 1 pint fresh raspberries, for garnish
- Raspberry jam, for garnish
- 1 bar bittersweet dark chocolate, for garnish
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
PEACH AND GREEN ALMOND CAKE:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces almond paste
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- Peach vegetable dye
- Green vegetable dye
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line mini cupcake pans with 48 mini cupcake liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Alternate folding the milk and flour mixture into the butter mixture. Fill the cupcake liners halfway and bake for 12 minutes. Cool.
To assemble: Dip the top of each cupcake into the Raspberry Glaze, making sure to cover the entire top of the cake to the rim of the paper. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe a generous dollop of the pale lavender Swiss Meringue in the center of the cake, keeping a rim of the Raspberry Glaze visible. Top the Swiss Meringue with the stacked Peach and Green Almond Cake. Using a small pastry brush, glaze each raspberry with raspberry jam and sit on top of the cake. Lightly dust the top of each cupcake with zested bittersweet dark chocolate.
Peach and Green Almond Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 half sheet trays with silicone mats.
Sift together the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste and sugar together until small crumbs form. Add the butter and beat on high speed until the mixture is combined. Scrape down the bowls and add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, beating on low speed after each addition. Divide the batters between 2 small mixing bowls. In the first bowl, add a few drops of the peach vegetable dye to the batter and mix well until a pale peach color. In the second bowl, add a few drops of the green vegetable dye and mix well until a pale green color. Spread each batter on prepared sheet trays. Bake for 10 minutes. When cooled, cut the peach cake using a 1-inch round fluted pastry cutter, and cut the green cake using a 1/2-inch round fluted pastry cutter. Stack the green cakes on top of the peach cakes and set aside.
Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved. (The mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips.) Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff, but not dry, peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy and completely cool. Add a few drops of purple vegetable dye and mix well until a light lavender color.