ALMOND CHERRY ITALIAN MERINGUE
¡Clic aquí para ver/imprimir la receta en Español!
(makes 8-9 cupcakes)
Pre-heat your oven at 175ºC. Prepare your cupcake tray with your liners. Sift your dry ingredients together and leave to the side. Blend your oil and sugar together for about 3-4 minutes, add your eggs 1 x 1 and then your almond essence. Now slowly add your dry ingredients and only mix until all the ingredients are incorporated well. Don´t overmix! Use an ice cream scoop to fill your liners ⅔ of the way. Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the tray for 5 minutes and then remove and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Wash and un-pit about 2 cups of cherries, add to a heavy bottom saucepan with ½ cup of white granulated sugar on medium to high heat, stirring continuously. When the liquid has reduced, empty some of it (liquid only) in a cup and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, mix well (make sure there are no lumps) then add to the cherry mixture on the stove, reduce the heat and continue to mix until then preserve is nice and thick. Remove from the heat entirely and let cool at room temperature. When cool, you can put it in a jar and let cool overnight in the fridge.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, add ⅓ cup of sugar and water and stir to wet the sugar. Once mixed do not stir anymore, you can swirl occasionally but no stirring. Heat the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Dip pastry brush in cold water and wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pot. At the same time start whisking your egg whites in a grease-free mixing bowl (not plastic) on medium-low until they start to foam, once foaming add the cream of tartar and salt and increase the speed to medium-high. When soft peaks form slowly add 1 & ½ tablespoons of sugar. Continue whipping until glossy. During this process check on your sugar syrup, when it has thickened and thick bubbles have become larger and pop open slower, just before the mixture turns brown your syrup is ready. This is the firm ball stage. If you don´t have a sugar thermometer you can test to see if it is ready by dropping a small bit of the syrup into a glass of cold water, it will form into a ball. When you squeeze the ball between your fingertips it will feel firm and you will know it is ready. Slowly pour the syrup onto the glossy egg whites in a thin steady stream with your mixture on low, be careful not to pour on the whisk or sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on high until the bowl is cold. This could take several minutes.
When your cupcakes have cooled, use an apple core to remove part of the centre and fill them with the cooled cherry preserve and top them with the Italian Meringue (I used a 1M Wilton open star tip to pipe mine). Sprinkle them with some flaked almonds and place them under the pre-heated grill/broiler until they have toasted golden brown (this takes very quickly so be sure not to leave the oven at this time, but rather check your cupcakes closely).
Labels: Almond Cherry Italian Meringue Cupcakes