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Whip up some Christmas delicacies

india Updated: Jan 12, 2012 17:36 IST
Almond cupcakes

Want to dish out some exotic Christmas delicacies for your party? Whip up a food frenzy with these baking ideas. Feasting and partying are the twin byproducts of Christmas season. If you plan to call your friends over for a sizzling X’mas soiree, here are a few ideas for some exotic but easy-to-bake dishes that you can cook at home and impress all your guests, leaving them asking for more. So, whip up a Christmas frenzy with these options and make merry!

Almond Cupcakes
3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vanilla-flavored almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/3 cup sugar, divided
8 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup prepared almond paste, divided by teaspoonfuls and rolled into balls

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt on a sheet of parchment paper. In a small bowl or measuring glass, combine almond milk, vanilla and almond extract. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add 1 cup sugar and beat on high speed until fluffy. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the almond milk mixture and beating on low speed after each addition. Move this mixture to a large bowl. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in the standing mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Use a rubber spatula to fold 1/4 of the egg whites into cake mixture in the large bowl. Then fold the remaining egg white mixture until batter is well combined. Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter and bake for five minutes. Remove from oven and lightly place prepared almond paste atop each cupcake. Top with batter. Bake until a tester comes out clean, around 15-18 min. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 min and move to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve chilled, garnished with sugar coated almonds.

Tip: To give your dish a cheery Christmas feel, you can sprinkle some rose petals over the cup cakes.

Recipe by Almond
Board of California

Christmas Plum pudding
2 eggs
60 gm castor sugar
2 chocolate sponge
25 gm refined flour
60 gm rum soaked fruit
75g m green apple
100 gm white butter
25 ml fresh cream
2 gm baking powder
Caramel colour as required
100 gm chocolate

For the Sponge recipe
3 eggs
70 gm grain sugar
10 ml warm water
1 ml vanilla essence
10 ml refined oil
70 gm refined flour
14 gm coco powder

Whisk eggs and sugar until it gets fluffy.
Soak the dry fruit with rum and combine all the dry ingredients together, including the grated apple.
Fold gently with sponge mixture, then add a little caramel for colour.
Pour the mixture into the baking tin and cover with silver foil.
Steam bake at 160°C for 20-25 minutes.

Whisk eggs and sugar together until fluffy, but don’t overbeat it.
Mix water and oil together and combine into the egg mixture.
Combine flour and cocoa powder together and sieve.
Fold flour and egg mixture together, gently bake it at 180°C for 10-12 minutes.

Recipe by The Park, Delhi

Almond Butter Cake

1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
10 oz almond paste
unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
5 large eggs
2 tbsp brandy

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake pan or spring form pan with parchment paper. (For individual cakes, the batter may be baked in 12 individual cake rings lined with parchment paper, or in deep muffin tins that have been buttered and floured.)
Sift together the flour and baking powder.
Stir the ground almonds and set aside.
Place the almond paste and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and, beginning on low speed, beat until blended.
Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the butter and almond paste are smooth and no lumps remain.
As you beat, gradually add sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then the brandy.
Continue beating until the mixture has lightened in colour and is very fluffy.
On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix just until roughly combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and with a rubber spatula, fold the batter until smooth.
Turn the batter into the pan and smoothen the surface.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden and the edges of the cake just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Place on a wire rack to cool before taking it out of the pan. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight or for up to two days.
Just before serving, sift icing sugar over the cake and pipe or drizzle thin lines of melted chocolate over top.
Serve with poached pears, lightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate sauce.