These cherry and amaretto cupcakes are a seriously indulgent treat. I baked them for Mother’s Day, as cherry is one of my Mum’s favourite flavours. I didn’t manage to post the recipe in time for Mother’s Day, but thankfully these sweet little bakes are a gorgeous gift to give (or indulge in yourself!) any time of the year.
Cherries are in season from July to August, so I did cheat a bit this time in the name of Mother’s Day! You could substitute the fruit, preserve and liquor depending on the season. You could try cranberry and cognac in winter, or blackberries with blackberry liqueur in autumn, or summer fruits soaked in a floral, citrus sweet wine, such as Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro (I’ve tried it – it’s wonderful!)
These cupcakes are definitely one for the grown ups. Juicy cherries soaked in amaretto before being plunged in white chocolate give these cupcakes such a luxurious edge, as does the dark cherry preserve, gleaming in the centre of each cake.
The dark chocolate cake is squidgy and moist and the amaretto buttercream is a velvety smooth, almond dream. These cupcakes would be perfect for a special afternoon tea, enjoyed with a glass of champagne. My only regret is that I should have baked more!
And so, from cupcakes to The Foodie’s Way very first ‘Foodie Month!’ It’s somewhat a little haphazard at this stage, but hopefully will give a sprinkle of inspiration for those looking for foodie fun in this month of March.
Five Things to do in March
- See the lambs! The little fluffy things are bouncing all over Dorset at the moment. We’ve now missed the Lambing weekend in Kingston Maurward but you can still head down there to visit them, along with alpacas, goats, piglets and ponies. Sweet!
- Go on an Easter egg hunt! The National Trust are holding lots of Easter events around Dorset, including Kingston Lacey, Corfe Castle, Brownsea Island and Studland bay. There are several dates for these events in March and April. You can find more from the National Trust page here.
- Go to the Dorset Food and Vension festival on the 26th March in Lytchett Minster. The festival came about due to the local management of deer. There are very high levels of Sika deer in the Purbecks, which according to the Wild Dorset programme, can damage local habitats. Venison is now in season and is seriously tasty, not to mention low fat. Watch out for my venison pie recipe coming soon!
- Entertaining for Easter? Why not book a day at HH & Co – The Cookery School at the Limewood Hotel? On Wednesday 23rd March they are holding an ‘Easy Entertaining’ course day for Easter, where you will learn how to make a seasonal 3 course lunch or dinner, with canapés and wine pairings for each course. Yes please! Full details and booking here.
- Head for a secret supper club in London for St Patrick’s day. If you fancy heading a little further afield this month, this might just be the event for you. On March 17th, Irish chef Una Donohoe will be making a 4 course meal using Irish produce with a traditional Irish band Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig playing.
I would love to hear from you if you attend any of these events! And if all else fails and you don’t want to leave the house, make sure you make a batch of my cherry and amaretto cupcakes!
- 115g dark chocolate
- 85g unsalted butter
- 175g soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 185g plain flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- jar of cherry preserve
- 115g unsalted butter
- 60ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 500g icing sugar
- ¼ tsp (or ½ tsp depending on taste) amaretto liqueur (or almond extract)
- 100g white chocolate
- 12 cherries
- Preheat the oven to 170 deg C (fan) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted and is glossy and smooth.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until pale. Slowly add the beaten eggs, whisking all the time. Next, add the melted chocolate and whisk together.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a separate bowl and stir together. Then, put the milk in a jug with the vanilla extract. Put a third of the flour mixture into the chocolate mix and beat well. Then add a third of the milk and beat well. Continue these steps until the flour and milk are used up. Carefully fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Once cool, use a small, sharp knife to carve a little hole in the centre of each cupcake. Add a teaspoon of cherry preserve to each hole.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the milk, vanilla extract and amaretto and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
- Pipe the buttercream onto the cooled, cherry preserve filled cupcakes.
- Break up the white chocolate into pieces and place in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Keep stirring until all the chocolate has melted and is glossy and smooth. Dunk each cherry carefully into the white chocolate then place on a plate or tray covered with greaseproof or baking paper. Keep in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Place a cherry on top of each cupcake.