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Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are a fine powder. Put the powdered almonds in a small bowl and set aside.
Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, add the egg, and beat until just combined. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Fold in the powdered almonds.
Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place them on the rack to cool completely.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, and matcha powder together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and continue beating until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then mix again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix again.
There are many ways to frost a cupcake. If you have a pastry bag, simply fit the bag with the largest tip, fill the bag with the frosting, and pipe enough frosting to cover the cupcake. If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake. You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes. Top with a fortune cookie.
© 2008 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.