It has become a bit of a project of mine to experiment with large cake recipes and see how they translate into cupcake form. I do this for a number of reasons.
1.People who have issues with food, whether old or current issues, tend to dislike eating ‘shared’ food; such as a buffet or indeed a cake which is cut into slices.
2. If you have a small family (like ours) a large cake is often past it’s best before you are anywhere near eating it all. By making individual cakes, you can reduce the amount of cake you make and therefore waste.
3. When cooking for a large group of people, cupcakes seem a cleaner, tidier option.
When it comes to impact though – nothing compares to a large cake!
This recipe is born of one such experiment and contains no oil, butter or margarine and so tastes and feels very light. I would love to know the Weight Watcher’s points in this recipe? Maybe one of you can tell me?
*Someone did!! If you make 11 they are 1.9 Weight Watchers points, if you manage 12 they are 1.75*
Although these cakes look golden brown, inside they are as white as the plate they are sitting on! Their meringue-like quality means they are so light they literally melt in your mouth and I’m afraid that although they are low-fat, one will never be enough :-S
So delicate are these cakes in flavour and texture that I don’t think they could compete with much in the way of frostings. Glacé icing, Butter-cream or Ganache would all be too heavy. Were they in season I would serve them piled high with tart, juicy berries to balance out the sweetness, but they are not so I simply dusted them with edible glitter and promptly devoured them!
You will need:
4 medium egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (not essence – yuk!)
4.5 oz / 125g caster sugar
2 oz / 57g plain flour
- Preheat your oven to 150 / Gas mark 2
- In a very clean bowl, beat your egg whites until they can form soft peaks,
- Add your cream of tartar and whisk again. Be careful not to over-whisk: the eggs should seem to increase in volume and should not become ‘dry’.
- Add your almond essence and whisk again.
- Add your sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition. The final cakes are quite sweet and after tasting you might decide to use less sugar in your next batch; it’s just a matter of taste!
- Sieve your flour on top of your mixture.
- Very gently fold in the flour until fully combined.
- Lay 11 cases in a cupcake tray.
- Fill each one to the top and tap the tray hard on the work surface to remove air bubbles.
- If you have enough mixture, fill a twelfth.
- Bake for approx 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Reduce the temperature to 100 / minimum gas mark and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray.
If in season, serve with berries, if not, a simple sprinkling of icing sugar or edible glitter would work best.
These cakes have a really unusual taste and texture. If you like meringues, you will love them! Bethany thinks they are a little like marshmallow!
Because they are so very white inside they would be very easy to colour if you wanted to and the shade would be really bright. I plan to make these again but with vanilla or lemon oil as a substitute for the almond.
Let me know how yours turn out?