For the last week or so now, the temperature in Hyderabad, India has dipped to a never-before level, heralding the arrival of Winter. The temperature never gets this cold in mid-November. Global Warming has just changed the entire familiar cycle of weather in my city.
Last Friday, I was out the entire day and it was so cold that I came back home with a splitting headache which needed me to sleep it off. Then why do I sound so thrilled about Winter? Because it’s strawberry season again! I’ve missed them so bad, so I am thrilled that they are back.
Last year I tried out these amazing Strawberry and Almond cup-cakes recipe from the BBC Good Food Guide . The first time I made them, as part of bake-with-a-vengeance exercise, they were muffin-sized and huge and a little more browned than I would’ve liked them to be (because of all the back-to-back baking I was doing), but were gone in a jiffy.
So the next time, I made them smaller and served them with this amazing syrup/sauce that is tangy and sweet and has you drooling like a baby. One of my extremely petite, fashion and diet-conscious friends (think Gabby from Desperate Housewives) ate 4 of them in the blink of an eye. I wish I had the pictures to show those.
I love baking with fresh fruit, so when Strawberry season was off, I tried them with Oranges. And those were yummy too. The sauce was excellent, the kind I want to just drink up, if I didn’t know how much sugar had gone into it. You can follow the link I gave above to try the strawberry cup-cakes or simply replace the oranges in the following recipe with strawberries.
Orange & Almond Cup-Cakes
What you will need:
- 140g softened unsalted butter
- 140g plain flour
- Eggs – 3 , beaten
- Caster sugar – 140 gms
- Grated lemon zest – 1 tspn
- Ground Almonds/Almond meal – 85g (blanch the almonds, skin them, microwave them for 2 minutes and grind them)
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Milk – 1 tbsp
- Oranges – 140g skin and seeds removed chopped into chunks
For the Orange Sauce:
- 140g icing sugar
- Juice of 1 Orange
- 60 ml lemon juice
How you make it:
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
- Sift the flour and baking powder 3 times
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest pale and fluffy.
- Add the ground almond and continue to whisk.
- Beat in the eggs, a little at a time.
- Add the flour mixture, a little at a time till all of it is used up.
- Add the milk and gently fold in the chopped orange pieces.
- Distribute the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 20 mins or until golden, risen and springy to touch.
- Cool on wire rack to cool completely.
- In a bowl, add the icing sugar after sifting, add the orange juice and lemon juice and mix till you get a thick sauce.
- Dip the top of each cake into the thick sauce, leave to set, then serve.
Orange Almond Cup-cakes with the Orange & Lemon Sauce