The beauty of these cakes lies in their adaptability. You can use almonds or pistachios instead of hazelnuts. And if you can't get plums, scatter the cakes with frozen berries or with slivers of apple instead. These little cakes are perfect served warm with a pot of tea.
Tips for cupcakes
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature before you start for ease of incorporation. That goes for butter, eggs, milk and other wet ingredients.
- Prepare your moulds by lining with cupcake papers or buttering and flouring before you start.
- Make sure your butter is soft but not melting. Coarsely chop it while it's cold and place in mixing bowl minutes before you start.
- Scrape down sides of your mixing bowl regularly to prevent lumps in the batter.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. If the mixture shows signs of splitting (it'll look grainy), add a tablespoon or two of flour to the mixture and stir to combine before you go any further. A split mixture will result in tough cakes.
- Beat butter and sugar, and eggs, in an electric mixer, but stir in dry ingredients and milk by hand to avoid overworking the mixture.
- Fill moulds to 5mm below tops, unless otherwise specified.
- Bake cakes in centre of oven and turn halfway through cooking time to ensure even baking (except for sponge cakes, where an even oven temperature must be maintained).
- Remove cupcakes baked in paper cases from the moulds and place on a wire rack to cool, to avoid sweating.
- Be patient and let cakes cool before icing or filling.