Recipes featured in

Murder at the Mansion

“Sit down, Annabelle. You look like you could do with a rest.”
“Thank you, Philippa. It’s been a terribly eventful morning.”
“Whatever happened?” asked Philippa, pouring the tea as Annabelle bit into a sandwich. Annabelle’s mother had always told her, “sandwiches before cake,” and Annabelle always listened to her mother.

Wicked Walnut Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

1½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter

1 cup (190g) soft brown sugar, packed

1 cup (200g) sugar

3 eggs

3 cups (360g) flour

1½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1¼ cup (300ml) whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Walnut butter (see recipe)

For the frosting

1½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter

2 cups (240g) icing sugar

Walnut butter (see recipe)

½ teaspoon molasses

½ teaspoon maple extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon walnuts, finely chopped

For the walnut butter

1 cup (120g) shelled walnuts

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons water (as needed)

Dash salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. 

To make the walnut butter, mix all ingredients in food processor until well blended. Add water to make the consistency creamy like mildly chunky peanut butter.

To make cupcakes, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sifted dry ingredients and slowly blend in milk. Stir in vanilla extract and fold in six tablespoons of the walnut butter. Reserve remainder of butter for icing. Spoon cupcake batter into paper liners, filling them about ¾ full.

Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Leave to cool completely. 

For the frosting, cream together unsalted butter and icing sugar. Gradually add remainder of walnut butter, molasses, maple flavouring, vanilla extract. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture is fluffy and creamy. Top cupcakes with frosting and add finely chopped walnuts for decoration.

Makes approximately 30 cupcakes.

Beatific Baklava

1 (340g) cups sugar

1½ (355ml) cups water

2 tsp rose water

2 tsp orange blossom water

cup (230g) honey

2 cinnamon sticks

2 (5 x ½-inch strips orange peel)

2 sticks (450g) butter, melted

1 cup (115g) chopped walnuts

½ cup (60g) chopped pecans

½ cup (60g) chopped almonds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground allspice

15 phyllo pastry

Stir 300g sugar, water, rose water, orange blossom water, honey, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil stirring continuously for 10-15 minutes or until consistency is thick like syrup. Remove from heat and chill until cold.

Preheat oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Line a 33 x 22.5 x 5 cm/13 x 9 x 2 inch metal baking tray with backing paper and brush with a little of the melted butter. Mix walnuts, pecans, almonds, cinnamon, all spice, and the remaining sugar in a medium bowl.

Fold one sheet of phyllo pastry in half to form a 30 x 22.5 cm/12 x 9 inch rectangle. Place folded sheet in prepared tray. Brush with melted butter. Repeat with four more folded sheets, brushing top of each with butter.

Sprinkle half of nut mixture over the top of the pastry. Repeat with five more folded sheets, brushing the top of each with butter. Sprinkle remaining nut mixture over the top. Add five more folded sheets of pastry, again brushing the top of each with melted butter.

Using a sharp knife, make seven diagonal cuts across the phyllo pastry, cutting through top layers only and spacing cuts evenly. Repeat in opposite direction with cuts crossing in the middle to form a diamond pattern. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, around 30 to 40 minutes.

Strain the white foam, cinnamon sticks and orange peel from syrup. Spoon 240 ml cup syrup over hot baklava. Cover and refrigerate or dispose of remaining syrup.

Cut baklava along lines all the way through layers. Cover and let stand at room temperature for four hours before eating. Can be made one day ahead. Do not wrap or will become soggy. Best if served individually. Can be chilled.

Makes approximately 30 pieces.

For the macaroons

Chaste Chia Seed And Coconut Macaroons

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup (50g) sugar

¾ cup (60g) shredded coconut

1 tbsp chia seeds

Optional

Food colouring of your choice

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Put the egg in a mixing bowl. Beat the sugar into the eggs with a fork, then stir in the coconut and chia seeds. Food colouring can be added at this time, just a few drops. Press the mixture, a few spoonfuls at a time, into a small eggcup, then turn upside down and tap out onto a baking sheet to form small rounds.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 7-8.

Angelic Almond Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

1½ cups (180g) flour

1¾ tsp baking powder

1 cup (200g) white sugar

1 stick (115g) unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp almond butter

1 cup (240ml) vanilla flavoured almond milk

1 pinch salt

For the frosting

1 stick (115g) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups (180g) icing sugar

2 tbsp almond butter

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp water (or as needed for consistency)

¼ cup (a small handful) almond slivers

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line cupcake tins with paper liners. In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and stir in the vanilla. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, slowly adding in the almond milk, almond butter and salt. Make sure all the ingredients are well blended. Spoon mixture into each paper liner, filling them about ¾ full.

Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Leave to cool completely.

To make frosting, sift icing sugar and beat together with butter. Add almond butter to sugar and butter mixture. Add vanilla extract. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until mixture is fluffy and creamy. Top cupcakes with frosting and add almond slivers for decoration.

Makes approximately 16 cupcakes.

Book cover of Fireworks in France by Alison Golden
Book cover of Witches at the Wedding by Alison Golden
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