Almond Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Frosting
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Mandelin Natural Sliced Almonds, toasted.
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 fl oz)
Dulce de leche:
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.
Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside.
Place the butter in a large bowl and beat at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy; slowly beat in the sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in almond extract. Add half of the flour mixture and beat at low speed until well mixed. Beat in the milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and the almond flour and beat just until combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into the liners and bake 25 to 28 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with dulce de leche. Top with toasted natural sliced almonds.
For the dulce de leche:
Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-quart heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Do not leave unattended.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and stir. Watch carefully as the mixture foams considerably. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook uncovered at a simmer. Stir occasionally.
Continue to cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the vanilla bean and let sit cooling for 15 minutes.
Return to heat and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup (approximately 1 hour total cook time). Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.
Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.
Save time by using store-bought dulce de leche.
Yields 24 cupcakes.
Almond Board of California