Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Amarena Cherry Cupcakes for Sweet New Zealand, and remembering friends


120 g butter
3 eggs
130 g sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
200 g self-rising flour
60 ml milk
12 Italian Amarena Cherries (I used Toschi)

to sprinkle:
icing sugar
Fresh As Blackcurrant powder

Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a 12-muffin tray with cupcakes paper cups.
Melt the butter in a jug, either in the microwave or in the oven (while the oven is warming up for the cupcakes). Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk, using an electric beater, until the mixture looks light and pale yellow in colour. Slowly add the melted butter and the lemon zest. Keep beating at a low speed now; add half of the flour followed by half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour and milk and keep beating making sure that there are no lumps. Divide the mixture between the 12-cupcake cases and add one cherry on top of each cupcake, pressing it down lightly.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown at the top. You can also check by inserting a toothpick into the cupcakes: if it comes out clean the cupcakes are ready. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool down. Mix the icing sugar with the Fresh As Blackcurrant powder and dust the top of the cupcakes.

This recipe is for Sweet New Zealand, this month hosted by Bridget of After Taste. All Kiwi bloggers living in NZ or overseas can participate, for inspiration just have a look at last month's event, hosted by Sugar and Spice.

Blogger Arfi proposed to dedicate this Sweet New Zealand session to our fellow blogger and friend Barbara of Winos and Foodies, who passed away last Saturday. Barbara was a real lady, in every sense, and we will all miss her. She is also one of the first blogger I have met when I started blogging  (I guess that in those days we didn't have many NZ bloggers!), but among all of us Kiwi bloggers I think that Arfi was possibly the one who knew her better, so I will direct you to her words to farewell Barbara.

These are sad times, I have also lost another friend last week, he was only 49 and he left behind a wife and two kids, and a big hole in our hearts. I didn't really plan to talk about him here, in my blog, in a way it is so personal, as his wife is one of my closest and oldest Italian girlfriends, and a colleague too, and when we live all so far away from home we have become like an extended family. But cancer is such a terrible illness, and after so much crying I just want to say to all of us: please, let us look after ourselves.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. This goodies lokks yummy. I think my daughter will like it. She loves pastries and cherries. I'll bake one today. thinks for the recipe.

  2. Ho giusto della cofettura di amarene da utilizzare...provo ad accendere il forno, le tue hanno un aspetto delizioso!

    buona giornata


  3. Mi spiace tanto per il tuo amico, e ti abbraccio forte.

  4. Barbara si merita davvero queste deliziose cupcakes...un abbraccio

    1. Si, penso che le sarebbero piaciute, il suo tipo di ricetta :-)

  5. These are really lovely. They would be perfect with a pot of tea or cup of espresso. I know I would enjoy them. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  6. Fantastiche!! Me ne prenderei a morsi due o tre e poi hai fatto delle foto stupende!! Bravissima!

  7. Very sadden by the loss of Barbara... She'll be missed. A nice tribute to her, Alessandra.

  8. It was very sad news about Barbara, she was a strong lady who live life to the full till the end. We will also miss her and thanks for dedicating this months Sweet NZ to her.

  9. It was very sad news about Barbara, she was a strong lady who live life to the full till the end. We will also miss her and thanks for dedicating this months Sweet NZ to her.

    1. Yes she was. And the dedication was Arfi's idea, so sweet :-).

  10. è sempre triste leggere di amici che se ne vanno, mi spiace Alessandra...

  11. una vera delizia! Ora qui a Roma le temperature soni folli e accendere il forno è impossibile ma appena torna il fresco li provo!

  12. Based on your delicious amarena cherry cupcakes photos, we'd like to invite you to submit your food photos on a food photography site called http://www.foodporn.net so our readers can enjoy your creations.
    It is absolutely free and fun to make others hungry!
    Thanks :)

  13. These cupcakes look sublime, Alessandra. Have a safe and wonderful trip. I enjoy your lovely photos and recipes.


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