Ispahan Cupcakes
Recipe from Tartelette
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup rose water
1 tsp rose essence (if available)
24 whole lychees (or 24 halves if they are big)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 24 cupcake liners with cooking spray and set them on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and rose water. Do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon half the batter into the liners, place one lychee int he center and top with the remaining batter, leaving a two inch space to the top as the cupcake will rise. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup raspberry puree (run enough fresh raspberries in the blender to make up 1/2 cup)
or use 1.5 cups powdered sugar with 1/2 cup raspberry jam.

In bowl of electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, until very smooth with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the frosting and pipe on the cupcakes. Top with a fresh raspberry.