Monday, April 19, 2010
Pistachio-Raspberry Tea Cakes (with Raspberry Buttercream)
Whoa, extreme closeup! Sorry about the slightly blurry image. I got the recipe for the cupcake, which in this case is closer to a muffin in consistency, from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes from 2009. She didn't say anything about frosting them, just showed them plain (granted, they are very pretty with the bright raspberries and the green nuts). But I ask, who made her queen? The frosting recipe is from Cupcakes by Carol Pastor, and it's to die for.
I knew I had to make these for my friend Keri when I first saw the recipe while researching cupcakes for my sister's 50th (na-na-na, I told) birthday bash. Keri loooooves pistachios.
Happily, I found a giant bag of already shelled pistachios. Because they came salted, I skipped the salt in the batter. I got 16 cupcakes out of the batter, one more than Martha. Again, na-na-na. I've noted my tweaks.
Pistachio-Raspberry Tea Cakes
1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt (skip if using the easier-to-find salted nuts like I did)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used nearly 3)
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 containers (6 ounces each) fresh raspberries
1/4 cup slivered or chopped pistachios, for sprinkling (optional, as in, I forgot)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (this was too high; try 325 to 350). Line standard tins with paper liners; coat liners with cooking spray.
In a food processor, finely grind shelled pistachios with the sugar and salt. Add butter, vanilla and eggs; process until smooth. Add flour; pulse until just moistened and combined; do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Gently press raspberries into batter, 4 to 6 per cupcake, and sprinkle with slivered or chopped pistachios if not frosting.
Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown, about 28 minutes (Check much earlier; mine were almost done at 20 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature or cool to frost. After frosting, garnish with pistachio pieces and/or a fresh raspberry if desired.
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter (no substitutes) at room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp. (heaping) seedless raspberry jam
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar plus more as needed
Few drops red food coloring (optional; I've never added any since it's a pretty pink color)
In a bowl, beat the butter with about the half the sugar until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and raspberry jam and continue to beat till smooth. Beat in the rest of the sugar until fluffy.
If you are unhappy with the consistency, add jam to thin, more sugar to thicken. I tend to use more jam -- and then more sugar to compensate -- because I like a strong raspberry flavor. This is great on chocolate raspberry cupcakes, too (recipe for those to come eventually). It's also great on a spoon. No, really.
I used a 1M decorating tip and a pastry bag to frost the tea cakes. I meant to garnish them with chopped pistachios and a fresh raspberry, but forgot. Next time.